Saturday, February 16, 2019

2019 Production Updates

Hello Liberty No. 5 fans! This little outfit of mine has certainly been producing very little since having my little kids, which is the past six years. But fear not! I have still been bravely trudging onward to deliver the ring of power to the Mountain of Mordor. Suffice to say, the method, or path, has changed a few times as the times have changed. Not to belabor my news with poetry, so I will cut to the story, short.

I am currently working on a few major film projects, as well as my local film networking efforts (Film Bar Mondays), and a few new projects unrelated to film. I feel that my biggest film project should come first, which is my current mythopoeia project (mythopoeia is my life's focus, I believe). The current iteration is inspired by John Bunyan's A Pilgrim's Progress, while not being a direct interpretation. This is true in the sense that it's not to be fashioned so much as a piece of allegory (or in other words, not as an extension of the 16th century religious commentary that his allegory symbolizes) as it is meant to be a timeless and mythical tale, rendered through a timely film adaptation. This means that the deep inner meaning of the myth itself is to be astutely translated to inspire and speak to the needs of a modern audience through the film medium. This must take great skill, not simply desire.

One could say, "Hey weren't the other Pilgrim's Progress attempts meant to accomplish the same?" And I'd say, "Well, maybe they thought they were, but they did not keep their eye on the ball, and as a result did a mediocre job of it. But more likely than this is that they did not know what they were really trying to accomplish, except to make a movie. So, to them, they succeeded. But to me, if one wants to bring true myths into the public consciousness, via the film craft, this is certainly not going to be enough. One must try harder." And this is something that some people simply cannot do. I guess they feel that they have more important things to do? I can't say. But to me, almost nothing in life is more important.






So, to cut it short, it is not meant to be a direct interpretation of the book. For example, it is to be called "Pilgrim" and the lead character will be referred to simply as "Pilgrim". His journey is meant to symbolize a pilgrimage of life of the "spiritual man" as opposed to a protestant political and symbolic religious journey through the opposition that a 16th century Calvinist might come across in Cromwell's revolutionary England. It IS fashioned, instead, to be a more universal and accessible rendering, while not being altogether without its mystical and primordial story-telling devices, so things like the divisions between Catholic and Protestant will be eliminated in this telling.

If the story of Pilgrim does well, then the story of his wife, Christiana, could occur after this as well.

The smaller film projects I am working towards include two shorts "Something to Lose", and "Paradise Beach" which can work up to a feature called "Beach Baby" and two proofs of concept shorts which can work up to two other features called "The Foster Family Fire Pit" and "The Good Grief". The remainder of which are all planned to be shot locally in the Tampa Bay area. These projects will likely happen before the Pilgrim project will, depending upon when funding is fully acquired.

I also have quite a few projects still planned for the future (twenty years of work) with my mythopoeia focus. Fantasy, Sci-fi, and epic adventures. Some of which include:

2020 - Roxy by Proxy (retro 80's cyber comedy thriller)
2022 - American Savages (anime-inspired American biker war movie)
2023 - Trinity (sci-fi epic)
2025 - Children of the Reeds (sci-fi fantasy)
2027 - The Inheritance (sci-fi epic)
2029 - The Double Edge (super hero horror assassin action)
2030 - Punishment (Lynchian horror)
2031 - Artefact. (epic fantasy sci-fi conspiracy)
2032 - The Knight's Pilgrim (medieval action drama inspired by The Seventh Seal)
2033 - The Nibelung (epic mythical action)
2034 - The Shadows (fantasy christmas carol adventure)
2035 - The Light Princess (fantasy fairy tale)
2036 - Arthur (epic fantasy adventure inspired by King Arthur)
2037 - Patrick (legendary epic adventure fantasy inspired by St. Patrick)
2038 - John Tully's "Starpol" (sci-fi ensemble action mystery)
2039 - CS Lewis' "'Til We Have Faces" (mythical epic fantasy)
2040 - CS Lewis' "Cosmic Trilogy" (sci-fi fantasy)
(and more...)

The projects unrelated to film include "house flipping", a podcast called "Terra Nullius", a garage conversion, a third baby (who is a boy), and an ambitious goal to be a traveling family which makes films, art, and literature.



Projects currently shelved: Floridiana, The Demon's Head, The Dark Cinema, The Darkened Door, Pirate Planet, In This Sign Conquer, The Grand Fury, The Christmas Killer, The Cursed Strangler, Florida Man, Bad Day, The Ice Cream Man, Beks, Cinema Sinestra, Deadman's Caye.

These projects can and may return if a combination of miraculous events occur to return them to life, including script-work, finding the right resources, and acquiring the right people, etc. I also have a slew of horror/thriller stories that can happen once the ball is moving forward more quickly financially. These projects could put thousands of people to work in Florida and abroad.

This slate of projects would most certainly frighten a lot of people. But if we take our plans a day at a time, don't expect each one to be successful, and stay on course even when our goals fail... we will still accomplish much. I might not direct each of these films. I might not get funding for most of them. But if I even write and fund one of them, that is a success for me.

I plan to write each one in the year planned, to pitch it and seek funding for it the year after, and to expect it to get produced from between 2 to 5 years after that (if funding is acquired). Additionally, one of these feature scripts have already been written, and eight of them will be adaptations to currently existing work. Having produced and worked on numerous films, this is not unrealistic whatsoever. I don't count my chickens before they hatch. I only have the audacity to count eggs. Audacious goal as it is.

Please contact me if you wish to discuss Pilgrim, or any other projects I have slated.

Friday, January 11, 2019

New Florida State Film Production Tax Incentives on Drawing Board

Announcement: 

"We, at TPA-Film Bar Mondays (in Tampa Bay)  pledge to work on a new project to try to encourage and inspire informed discussion on bringing Film Production Tax Incentives to the state of Florida again, except this time better structured to encourage fiscal responsibility, as well as greater competitive advantages to experienced Florida filmmakers instead of to transient Hollywood producers who have no interest in benefitting our state substantively. These discussion will occur at Film Bar Mondays meetings regularly and will focus on a five year plan to bring responsible leadership to Tallahassee to represent these interests with principled leadership."  -- Jon Croft (leader of the TPA-Film Bar Mondays chapter in Tampa Bay. 







If you are interested in learning more or being involved in some way as a Floridian or a filmmaker, please contact me at libertynumber5@gmail.com with the title "Sunshine State Tax Incentives."

Thank you!  :D

Friday, November 23, 2018

Speedbump: Feature Film "Floridiana" is Currently on Backburner


TORPEDOED!...
Well, well. This has been a long transitional state into my work on Floridiana and out of it. And I'm not pleased about how hard it has been to find the right help to get this film going, but this hasn't actually been the primary issue. I've been through three (3) different producers, probably five (5) different cinematographers, and a few actors. But ultimately its been about story, a few partnerships lost, and about finding (or NOT finding) some funding.

I have not been interested in seeking crowdfunding due to the nature of the story, which, sadly, doesn't wreak of crowd-pleasing fare. Instead, it was always a personal and intimate story about implanting my own idealistic themes of brotherhood, and community into a wish-fulfillment tale about having the kind of exultant teenage years that I never experienced.

Yeah, so there've been some torpedoes that sent my submarine traveling under the film radar into the depths of a temporary or permanent sea-floor grave. Ok. But I'm actually not bitter about this. I know that these things happen. After all, one of the factors involved is that I'm having a third child, which is going to be great! Also, I'm doing some unconventional stuff with business to try to raise my income level, but this has a time frame which gets in the way for me. A partnership got dissolved due to mutual differences (thankfully, not much money was invested into that, but time was), and another partnership ended up putting some of my investments at risk, but that is being hammered out currently. And, Jonah Hill's "Mid90's" came out which requires me to re-write the script considerably. It is almost identical in its primary foundational elements to the degree that its too obvious. Makes it look like I'm a bad copy. That's not cool. Harumph!




So, "Floridiana" is now being shelved, and I am back to organizing my projects in order of ease of ability to shoot vs. difficulty of execution. My list of projects has only gone up since I started having children, because I've got writing time but rarely do I get shooting time now. And because I am an idea person, I can literally come up with a quality, viable feature movie idea and write out the basic plot points in one day, which I just did a few days ago. But I have to admit that without making serious progress now, I feel somewhat lost and inconsolable. I put a lot into Floridiana, but honestly there's not a lot I can do but to hope for the right one to come along. So, has it?? Possibly.

I have an older project that I was working on but never completed the script. I also felt that I wasn't ready for this project, but I now feel that if I put more prep into it I may be able to make a great crowdfunding project from this because it is based on a public domain property that has been attempted numerous times before, but not very successfully (in my humble opinion). So, it would likely be highly inspired by (but not necessarily directly based upon) this famous English work of literature from the 1600's which I will tell you about soon... ;)

I really want to recommend these kinds of projects to new filmmakers because they encourage an adaptation or a translation of someone else's famous work. And this is a great skill to have in this current film market, but it is also going to give you some really great source material to play with.

Coming up next... my list of films I am currently developing, including this next feature film project.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Our "Golden Foot" is Walking to a Theater Near You

Hey film fans! Our little golden film, "Golden Foot" is walking around Florida visiting festivals!

It is a 20 min. comedy short about a narcissistic foot model who must resolve with his mother after a strange selfie addiction afflicts her! Yep. Did you get that? We made a short film about a self-absorbed foot model and a disease brought on by selfie addiction... And what have YOU been doing with your life?... I thought so. :D

We continue to bring comedy, laughs and quality filmmaking to Florida! So, here are the current screen times and locations on the books...





1. Silver Screen for Short Films - August 8th, 7pm, Villagio Cinemas, Tampa, FL.

2. Tampa Bay Film Society - August 21st, 7pm, Holliday Inn Express, Oldsmar, FL.

3. CENFLO - Central Florida Film Festival - September 7th, 11am, EPIC Theaters, Mt Dora, FL.

4. CENFLO - Central Florida Film Festival - September 9th, 1240pm, EPIC Theaters, Mt Dora, FL.

5. TBUFF - Tampa Bay Underground Film Festival - December 9th, 1125am, Britton Cinemas, Tampa, FL.

6. Dunedin International Film Festival - January 12th, (time tbd), Dunedin, FL.



We will continue to update this post for future dates and changes.

May the Foot Be With You!!!
~Jon

Also please visit our Facebook page here.


Some Updates:

8/8/18 - WINNER of the Silver Screen for Short Films Audience Choice Award!!!

8/21/18 - Successful screening @ the Tampa Bay Film Society on Aug 21st to a packed room!

9/9/18 - Successful screenings in Mt Dora at the CENFLO festival of films!


Sunday, August 19, 2018

Putting Our Best Golden Foot Forward: Our "Golden Foot" Cast!

I just want to give a shout out to our wonderful cast for "Golden Foot"! It was a wonderful experience to work with you all! I apologize to anyone who wanted to be part of the cast but couldn't. It was a joy to meet and work with each of you!!







I wasn't sure how well everything would go during production, but as soon as we got filming things really kicked into 5th gear! I was very pleased because there were wonderful surprises and great inspiration for me everyday! And now I sincerely miss working with you all now that we are screening the film. So, allow me to glowingly showcase each of you here a tad!

After all, these guys worked hard and deserve to be shown off! In fact, I already know that a few of you have found feature film work as a result of meeting others on this film! I am glad I could be a part of anyone's success! Especially for people that I like so much! You've been a joy to work with!

Let's start with our lead protagonist, Daniel Cooksley, actor extraordinaire!!!




1. Daniel Cooksley - playing Sergei Bogdonovich aka. "Golden Foot".
Daniel showed a surprising amount of responsiveness when finding the middle ground for his character. I was sometimes resistant when he asked me pointed questions. But every question he asked was astute, helpful, and necessary to getting to where we needed him to be for this role. And it shows! Daniel was a powerful collaborator who I'd be honored to team up with again, if the opportunity arises. I pray it does! Thank you so much for making this experience memorable and fun, Dan!!!
https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1354708/





2. David Flood - playing Charlie.
Dave is a consummate professional. He never complained once. He never avoided or shrunk from the challenge. He is always there 100%. And he is a natural actor! He just GOT the role immediately, and did emotions from zany to serious at the drop of a hat. David, I am so honored I got to work with you man!!! It was just such a great experience for me, and I hope we can work together again some day!
https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1492708/





3. John Borland - playing Andrei Bogdonovich.
John is always available to play a role to help out a friend. He's ever faithful to show up and knock 'em dead! He can do roles that many would consider impossible, or difficult, AND he has fun doing it! Thank you John for being a friend to me and making this film stronger and much more fun because of it! "Like PROBIOTIC," my friend... like probiotic, indeed!!! :D
https://www.imdb.com/name/nm7962611/





4. Cristoff Marse - playing Stuart, Patricia's agent.
Christoff kind of blew my socks off. And many of you who were there when he performed know what I'm talking about. I even told him that after he performed and I was taken aback by how instant he was in getting the role. After clarifying his role all he needed was how much (emotionally) to do it. He landed on the ground like a super hero and placed all of this intensity and humor into every breath whenever the camera was rolling. It was magnificent. I truly feel that lightning struck that day. And I hope it does again!  Thank you for your power, intensity, and beauty, Christoff! Still amazed!!!
https://www.imdb.com/name/nm4934258/






5. Mary Jane Heath - playing Patricia Bogdonovich, Sergei's "mannequin mother".
Mary was like a fast friend who is always on your side. She always gives you something you never expect and never expected you needed until she gives it to you. Then you know you'll need her help again. I just love her so much for being such a talent, but especially for her friendship!

Just to give you an example, that "poem" she says to little Sergei during the flashback sequence? That was entirely her. Not the script. Our contribution was something like "Don't worry your footy will be fine. And you'll see- one day you'll become famous- blah blah." And she turned that into magic. Because that's right folks... Mary Jane is magic. NO other explanation! Thank you, Mary!!! :D
https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1021602/






6. Susan White - playing Dr. Debra.
Susan was such a powerful friend to have on set, because she was always available to say yes. And when you ask her to jump she asks "How high?" She just knocked our socks off straight-off during casting. And we knew that her brand of humor would be perfect as the subtle straight-faced "Doctor" with silly instructional videos about mannequins. She was perfect. And more than that- she played against a mannequin and did every crazy, ridiculous thing we came up with on the spot. I am so grateful for that.

On top of all of this I have to give her a big huge "THANK YOU" for providing her house to us free of charge for a full 24 hours of straight shooting. She opened her home to us and we tried (probably in vain) to clean up our mess afterwards. I bet there was still popcorn we threw somewhere in the house a week later. Thank you for putting up with us, and still giving us all a perfect performance on the day! I had so much fun and I hope it was a memory-maker for you too!!! ;)
https://www.imdb.com/name/nm5317604/






7. Linda Roser - playing Female Assistant.
I love working with Linda and I've even written roles for her before because she is such a talented local actor, I wish there were more challenging roles for her locally. Her comedic timing is bar-none incredible, and her facial expressions are infectious. Thank you so much for gracing us with your presence and allowing our "Russian foot model" to reject giving you an autograph- with so much rudeness. It was perfect! Thank you, Thank you!!! =D
https://www.imdb.com/name/nm4558350/






8. Chris Plourde - playing Male Assistant.
Chris is my bro when we can hang out, which is becoming rarer, because he is so popular in the local film and commercial scene. I appreciate everything you do for us brother, in front and behind the camera! When Chris is in "go mode" it is really helpful because he pushes us all forward! But I especially love his range and his willingness to do more. I don't think an actor like him will ever be out of fashion. He will always be in demand because he is willing to do the work and willing to be a powerful voice on set wherever he goes, because he's doing it all as a gentleman and a scholar. You da man Chris!!! Thank you!!!
https://www.imdb.com/name/nm7161702/






9. Andrew Durliat - playing Photographer. And Ellah Durliat playing "Little Footy".
Drew does work a lot. And I miss him sometimes because he's not always working with me (shoot!) :/. Why? Because he's here, and there, and everywhere, helping so many local productions! How did he contribute? He got us little Ellah as "Little Footy". Thats right- we used her foot in a shot. Thank you Ellah! :D He also made our locations happen, and he made pre-production happen very smoothly because he was always saying, "what else do we need?" So he made a great photog as well because he had experience knowing what they do, and he wasn't about to hold back when he showed up on camera. Thats what comedy is about brother! Make 'em want more. But most of all, thanks for being a friend and being so helpful to us! You made it happen brother!!! Thank you for being there for the team!!!
https://www.imdb.com/name/nm6747828/
https://www.imdb.com/name/nm6797231/



And last but not least... TA DA!


10. Jillian Kinsman-Barrett - playing "Footy" in the opening closeup shot.
Thats right. We got a really fantastic actual foot model, Jillian, to get the opening foot shot to show just how glamorous Sergei's foot was. LOL. The foot shot seen later (in the Footy Bed) was Daniel, however. LOL. I felt that in the opening shot this would make his foot look really glamorous- and I think it worked! Thank you Jillian for adding your professional touch to everything you do! :D
https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1817261/



You cdcan currently see our film playing in Florida film festivals, and you can see it listed on IMDb here. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5510880/

So again, thank you to everyone in front of the camera who made this film happen smoothly and made it a joy to shoot!!! You guys ARE GOLDEN!!! So lets watch how well our little short does, and give it the attention it deserves!


May the Foot be with you! And with you as well!!! :D

~Jon






Saturday, January 6, 2018

Low Budget/High Concept & the AFM Aftermath

Well, the AFM happened folks! It was an astounding success for us. But for some people, they might not see what I see. I made some great new friends, and got some great ideas & direction for our future. That's what I expected, and that's what I wanted. But I've known lots of people who have wished for and even expected a sale on their very FIRST VISIT. Which I find to be absolutely ridiculous. I've even seen the people who go to AFM without a finished film, which is probably the majority of filmmaker attendees, expect this. That's probably because they didn't do their research, or because they are being unrealistic about their product.

 
Let me give you a clue. The market doesn't care nearly as much about your product as you do. But what they can start to care about is you. YOU, the filmmaker. YOU, the human being. So, appeal to them on that level first. That's the first step. The next step is to learn how to sell or to find a sales producer to team up with. That's step two.

Well, that's what we did, and that's what we got. We met some amazing people. One of them lives close by, and we are now teaming up with him. His name is Terry Hopkins of Firestrike Productions, and he really impressed us. But there were also a handful of other friends we made from around the world. The guys from Badlands, Sean from Callumny Films, Travis from Cobalt, the team at Thriller, and to many more! Thank you to all of you I met with and to those who advised us on our films, and making better films for the market.

One thing I learned is that 'high concept' can be a good but also a bad thing. It's good to start with high concept, but never settle on it. We can do the best work as we never give up to what I call "the entropy of the high concept", but if we continue, instead, to fight for the greater complexity of characterization and the greater sophistication of plot and themes... in two words, we need "groundbreaking storytelling". Its true that Low Budget/High Concept is good. It makes selling to a market like AFM possible, but it's not by any means the end-all of storytelling.

 

So, to you, the reader, the fan, I have some great news! Liberty No. 5 Pictures has teamed up with Firestrike Productions to bring product to the AFM next year! So, that's our goal! More specifically, to have one or more projects in each stage of development by next year. A project being developed or written, a project in pre-production, a project in post-production, and a finished project seeking distribution. So, at least four projects that have great teams, and are building up to a great sale (or a few great sales) at AFM 2018. Here's what we are working on now.

1. Development on horror film, "The Demon's Head" in the Tampa Bay area.
2. Developing a Faith-based Musical inspired by the Biblical story of Job (with writer Preston Walden).
3. Developing a Halloween themed family thriller called "Let's Get Scary." Being developed with director/writer Nick Canning.
4. Developing a shark thriller film with director/producer Ryan Justice.
5. Developing a horror/thriller about the urban myth called Black Eyed Children, with producer John Borland.
6. Developing an action film about bounty-hunters with Joe Sanchez.
7. Developing a faith-based film with director Matthew Glover.
8. Developing an action comedy with Joel Wynkoop called "Battlesuit".

And now my personal projects...
9. My coming of age drama 'Floridiana' about skaters, abuse, & homelessness is in pre-production.
10. I am writing & developing a drama comedy set during Thanksgiving, and a fantasy adventure inspired by "A Pilgrim's Progress".
11. I am working to bring my short script "Something to Lose" to the screen.

I can't discuss too many specifics about most of these projects for good reason, but the ones that are personal projects are free game. Development can be a fragile time for teams. We don't want to expect too much at first. And we don't want to squelch the creativity too much by demanding a lot or thinking we know what the film is about too early on.

Knowing what a story is truly about is essential to bringing it to life effectively. And development is really about finding that out, and getting the pieces put together before we rush down a path that could actually dead end once we get to production, or get to post-production, or to market. It can get sidelined at any one of these steps if we don't really know our limits, and if we don't know if we can execute this with our limited resources.

We need more projects closer to post or to sale. But that's just where we are now. As soon as we get more successes we can start asking for funding in various places and know that we can get somewhere without having to self-fund or crowd-fund everything.



Low Budget/High Concept image by Mongrels, © Mongrels 2015 all rights reserved.

Friday, December 1, 2017

"Death Do Us Part" plays at Tampa Bay Underground Film Festival

My first little short "Death Do Us Part" will be playing at the Tampa Bay Underground Film Festival this December 2017. It was also submitted to a few other festivals, but once this film has been screened at TBUFF we are considering releasing it somewhere online. So, this will very likely be the last time you will be able to watch it on the big screen. Unless you mean the big flat screen in your living room that is.



My plan for Death Do Us Part was always to screen it locally so people could see it here, not just to dump it online. It seems an unceremonious insult to the film in my view to just put something online like that, because I always strive to make something more professional in the aims to make bigger, more expensive, more spectacle films. Because if you treat your film like every other home video made in America, it eventually gets treated that way by everyone else. But I also cant expect too much for my first short film. After all, it is one short out of a million. Ultimately it is one step of many in my film career.

Let me know if you want to see the film and give some advice or criticism. Or see it Sunday night at TBUFF, Britton Cinemas in S. Tampa during the Final Girl Short Horror Film Block from 9:20pm-11:20pm. See ya there!!! It will be playing right after Daryn Murphy's "The Apocalypse Needs Weirdos".

https://youtu.be/54WAR5WaFak

Monday, November 6, 2017

Liberty No. 5 Pictures at AFM 2017.



Hello to the Liberty fans! Liberty No. 5 and me, Jon Croft, will be attending AFM in Santa Monica for the first time in 2017. We are bringing a diverse selection of film projects with us, and we are very flexible with our product for the market's sake. Our objective is very clear. Not to sell but to find out WHO to sell to. This is even more important if you wish to establish a presence at AFM for years to come.

Since I got back into producing about six months ago, I have established numerous friendships with writers, directors, and fellow producers. Especially from the Tampa Bay area, which deals heavily in horror, action, and faith-based product, along with some drama. I have chosen to go with horror for now. But I am interested in the faith-based market, even if it is a tough nut to crack, because the market is quickly growing.

Here is my current slate.

1. The Demon's Head: (In Development) a Niche Horror Anthology with twelve directors and twelve 'beats' to one over-arching narrative. This project has been a ton of fun to develop, due to the nature of how we have structured our micro-budget anthology. $150-200k.

2. Floridiana: (In Pre-Production) a Niche Coming-of-Age Drama ready to go into production. Palo Alto meets Paranoid Park. We have started shooting a bit, but nothing on the feature. Only promo & marketing stills. But we plan on shooting a tone poem as a proof of concept, and a small promo trailer to raise awareness in the local community.  This project will probably resort to crowd-funding to continue building an audience, and to get the casting portion of pre-pro for this micro-budget going. $200-250k.

'Floridiana' one-sheet (front).

'Floridiana' one-sheet (back).


3. LockJaw: (Finished) a Niche Horror show about a murderous ventriloquist doll being shopped around by my friend, John Borland, and I. We are hoping to license this out by the end of this year, with the production company's approval.

4. Let's Get Scary: (In Development) a Family Thriller. Goosebumps meets Krampus. A fun-for-the-whole-family movie about being safe and healthy on Halloween. We are also developing a children's book to help promote the film. A budget conscious $5mil production. Thanks to Nick Canning on introducing this project to me!

5. Pilgrim: (In Development) a Fantasy Adventure Tale with family undertones.  Since this is a $20-25mil project with ambitions of blockbuster status, this project is being heavily developed to suit the marketplace. Particularly the Asian market. This means the culturally sensitive people will need to take a backseat on this one, and universal themes must enter the discussion. For a story made for the staunch Protestant in 15th century England in the source material, 'A Pilgrim's Progress', this will present a unique, yet rewarding, challenge.

'Pilgrim' one-sheet (front).

'Pilgrim' one-sheet (back).



6. Fear The Dark: (In Development) Written by Adam Minecci. A Paranormal Monster Horror set in the 80's & 90's. This will take some time to develop since its such a fun project. But it will also need to be a fairly high quality, $5mil mainstream horror, in the vein of Stranger Things, and The Conjuring.

7. They Had Black Eyes: (In Development) A Paranormal Horror set in small-town America. This story follows a myriad of victims who connect with each other while escaping monsters known in urban legend as "Black-Eyed Children" or "BEKs." $150k micro-budget to be shot as soon as some funds can be acquired.

8. The Family Fire: (In Development) a drama comedy short being developed into a feature, we are hoping to be shot after Foridiana. It follows a family who has a strong sense of nostalgia regarding their discussions over the fire pit. Breakups, comedy, and emotional catharsis ensue.


My true objective at AFM is to connect with people. I'm a creative strategic producer, so my objective will be different than many at this market. I'm not fooling myself into believing that people will be throwing money at us. AFM wants finished work. But the larger arc here is that a market is about relationships, and working towards common goals. So, I'm working at connecting on these common goals, and in the process finding out who I should bring my product to when completed.

Wish me and John luck!

Friday, May 12, 2017

The 2017 Summer Movie Wager

I'm participating again in the Summer Movie Wager, a contest to see who can pick the closest predictions for the summer season of Domestic Box Office winners, which occurs between May 1st and August 30th. This is just for fun for me this year. Not for money or for winnings. 

Ok. So without further adieu, here's my 2017 Summer Movie Wager predictions from top to bottom!

1. Despicable Me 3
2. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2
3. Transformers: The Last Knight
4. Cars 3
5. PotC: Dead Men Tell No Tales
6. Spider-Man: Homecoming
7. Wonder Woman
8. War for the Planet of the Apes
9. The Mummy
10. Valerian and tCoaTP

Dark Horses:
Dunkirk
The Dark Tower
Baywatch




Here’s how they score the wager:
  • Getting number 1 or number 10 dead-on gets you 13 points (each).
The rest of the scoring goes like this:
  • 10 points for numbers 2-9 dead-on
  • 7 points if your pick was only one spot away from where it ended up
  • 5 points if it was two spots away
  • 3 points if your pick is anywhere in the Top 10
  • 1 point for each dark horse that makes it into the Top 10
The scoring is tabulated so that you get the SINGLE HIGHEST point value for each pick- that is, if you get number ten right, you don’t get 13+3, you only get 13.

Last year, I got 46 points.
I got…
Two perfect 10 point scores in Suicide Squad & Ghostbusters=20 points. As well as 7 points each for Captain America: Civil War, The Secret Life of Pets & X-Men: Apocalypse (1 place away)=21 points. And lastly, 5 additional points for Finding Dory (2 places away)=5 points.

20+21+5=46 points. 

This is better than the year before, which was a deplorable 33 points, but not as good as my first year participating in 2014, which was 66 points! 

Hopefully I’ll do much better this year, even though it's hard to gauge how much the public will like the Superhero blockbusters this year, or the greying Pirates or Transformers franchises. Only time will tell..

Wanna participate? So what films are on YOUR list?


Update (as of July 18th):
Current List of Biggest Summer 2017 Movies by Domestic Box Office
1. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 - $386mil
2. Wonder Woman - $381mil
3. Spider-Man Homecoming - $212mil
4. Despicable Me 3 - $191mil
5. Pirates of the Caribbean 5 - $170mil
6. Cars 3 - $140mil
7. Transformers 7 - $125mil
8. The Mummy - $79mil
9. Baby Driver - $74mil
10. Alien Covenant - $73mil

I expect Spider-Man: Homecoming, & Despicable Me 3 to continue to push upward, but not to overtake Wonder Woman or Guardians, and for
War for the Planet of the Apes to get into this list very soon. I also expect Dunkirk & Valerian to come onto this list as soon as they are released, and to continue to push The Mummy, Baby Driver & Alien Covenant off of this list. While I don't expect them to make a lot of money, though, since they will keep each other down with a similar viewing demographic. 

I can't know exactly how well these two new films that haven't been released yet will do, but I suspect that at least War for the Planet of the Apes should go much higher with great legs due to the good word of mouth (I'm expecting around $110mil). And I think a lot of the films that are currently under about the $70 mil mark will get pushed out entirely. And I expect Dunkirk & Valerian to get about $100 mil each. This leaves me with a new projection...

1. 
Wonder Woman - 3
2. Guardians of The Galaxy Vol 2 - 10
3. Spider-Man: Homecoming - 3
4. Despicable Me 3 - 3
5. Pirates of the Caribbean 5 - 10
6. Cars 3 - 5
7. Transformers: The Last Knight - 3
8. War for the Planet of the Apes - 10
9. Dunkirk - 1
10. Valerian and the CoaTP - 13

This means I would get about 61 points if I got Guardians, War, Valerian & Pirates dead on. Thats actually pretty great but it really depends on these four being exact.

I suppose we will see at the beginning of September, wont we? ;)

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

My 2017 Oscar Awards Predictions

Here comes the 89th Annual Academy Awards. Will there be less dumb jokes, less virtue signaling, and less inappropriate political posturing? You better bet your wagon there will be just the right amount of that nonsense. Which is right over the border into "Too Much". Will Hollywood continue to prove that they are still out of touch with the public? Of course they will. But we still enjoy all the awkward (often racist and sexist) attempts at humor, the paper-thin failed attempts at humility from even the best actors on the globe, and the 'almost-correct' awards for making well-crafted cinema. C 'est la vie!

So, BRING IT ON!






I will list the 2017 Nominations first, and then afterwards, give my predictions. I won't make a prediction for every category, but I will for most categories. So, here they are... the Nominees!



2017 Nominations



Best Picture:
Arrival
Fences
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water 
Hidden Figures
La La Land
Lion
Manchester by the Sea
Moonlight

Best Actor in a Leading Role:
Casey Affleck - Manchester by the Sea
Andrew Garfield - Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling - La La Land
Viggo Mortensen - Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington - Fences

Best Actress in a Leading Role:
Isabella Hupert - Elle
Ruth Negga - Loving
Natalie Portman - Jackie
Emma Stone - La La Land
Meryl Streep - Florence Foster Jenkins

Best Actor in a Supporting Role:
Mahershala Ali - Moonlight
Jeff Bridges - Hell or High Water
Lucas Hedges - Manchester by the Sea
Dev Patel - Lion
Michael Shannon - Nocturnal Animals

Best Actress in a Supporting Role:
Viola Davis - Fences
Naomie Harris - Moonlight
Nicole Kidman - Lion
Octavia Spencer - Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams - Manchester by the Sea

Best Animated Feature:
Kubo and the Two Strings
Moana
My Life As A Zucchini
The Red Turtle
Zootopia

Best Cinematography:
Arrival
La La Land
Lion
Moonlight
Silence

Best Costume Design:
Allied
Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them
Florence Foster Jenkins
Jackie
La La Land

Best Directing:
Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
Manchester by the Sea
Moonlight

Best Documentary (Feature):
Fire At Sea
I Am Not Your Negro
Life, Animated
O.J.: Made In America
13th

Best Documentary (Short):
Extremis
4.1 Miles
Joe's Violin
Watani: My Homeland
The White Helmets

Best Film Editing:
Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
La La Land
Moonlight

Best Foreign Language Film:
Land of Mine
A Man Called Ove
The Salesman
Tanna
Toni Erdman

Best Makeup & Hairstyling:
A Man Called Ove
Star Trek Beyond
Suicide Squad

Best Music (Original Score):
Jackie
La La Land
Lion
Moonlight
Passengers

Best Music (Original Song):
Audition (The Fools Who Dream) - La La Land
Can't Stop The Feeling - Trolls
City of Stars - La La Land
The Empty Chair - Jim: The James Foley Story
How Far I'll Go - Moana

Best Production Design:
Arrival
Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them
Hail, Caesar!
La La Land
Passengers

Best Short Film (Animated):
Blind Vaysha
Borrowed Time
Pear Cider & Cigarettes
Pearl 
Piper

Best Short Film (Live Action):
Ennemis Interieurs
La Femme et le TGV
Silent Nights
Sing
Timecode

Best Sound Editing:
Arrival
Deepwater Horizon
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
Sully

Best Sound Mixing:
Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

Best Visual Effects:
Deepwater Horizon
Doctor Strange
The Jungle Book
Kubo and the Two Strings
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay):
Arrival
Fences
Hidden Figures
Lion
Moonlight

Best Writing (Original Screenplay):
Hell or High Water
La La Land
The Lobster
Manchester by the Sea
20th Century Women






Okay! Here it is! My predictions for the 2017 Academy Awards!...



My Predicted Winners for 2017:


Best Actor in a Leading Role:
Denzel Washington - Fences

Best Actress in a Leading Role:
Emma Stone - La La Land

Best Actor in a Supporting Role:
Dev Patel - Lion

Best Actress in a Supporting Role:
Viola Davis - Fences

Best Animated Feature:
Zootopia

Best Cinematography:
Arrival

Best Costume Design:
Jackie

Best Directing:
La La Land

Best Documentary (Feature):
I Am Not Your Negro

Best Film Editing:
Hacksaw Ridge

Best Foreign Language Film:
A Man Called Ove

Best Makeup & Hairstyling:
Suicide Squad

Best Music (Original Score):
La La Land

Best Music (Original Song):
City of Stars - La La Land

Best Production Design:
Arrival

Best Sound Editing:
Hacksaw Ridge

Best Sound Mixing:
La La Land

Best Visual Effects:
The Jungle Book

Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay):
Moonlight

Best Writing (Original Screenplay):
Manchester by the Sea



and last but not least...

Best Picture: 
La La Land






Let me know what your predictions will be before the event, and we can compare our scores! Happy Oscar Awards Night on Feb 26th Live at 7pm Eastern, 4pm Pacific on ABC!

Here is the link to the live feed which will only be active during the event. 

http://oscar.go.com/live