February 13th, 2007

Day 2: Outdoor Shots

It’s the close of Day 2, and I’m still loving my job!

We had a great day, today. It was long and cold, but very productive. We shot all outdoors with some special equipment, so it took us a bit longer to get through all of the shots. But overall, the shots were solid!

For those of you who missed the Fox News interview, you can view it online here:

Fox News features Production

You can also read the complete article here:

Fox News Article

Also, I have posted some pictures from our outdoor shoot today. You can view them on the Media section of our website, or click the link below.

Our Photo Gallery

February 12th, 2007

Day 1: Action!

It was a great Day 1!

The weather forced us to change our shooting schedule a bit, but not in a bad way. We still moved along at a good, quick pace. We covered about 5 and half pages on our first day!

Earlier in the morning, Fox News came by for an interview. They were running a piece on the latest Texas film incentives going into legislation this week.

I was very pleased with our first day. We should have dailies in about 24 hours thanks to Lucid Post. I hope to have some stills posted soon.

February 11th, 2007

Three weeks of labor

Cameras role at 8am tomorrow morning, and do you know what I’m thinking about?

I think about a woman sitting in her hostpital room about to give birth. She’s past her due date, and the doctor is going to induce in the morning. What’s going through her mind?

How bad will it hurt?
I wonder what she’ll look like?
How will this change my life?
Am I really ready for this?

In many ways, I feel like I’m having the same questions. We’re about to induce labor tomorrow morning–three weeks of labor. How bad will it hurt? I wonder what the film will look like–what will it grow into. How this will change our lives? Am I really ready for this?

But, even with those questions, there is an anticipation, an excitement, a joy that is coming. Just like a mother about to give birth, I feel this same type of laboring joy that is coming tomorrow morning. And, I’m ready.

Just give me the epidural.

February 8th, 2007

Working with the Screen Actor’s Guild (SAG)

As we draw closer to our shoot date, our dealings with SAG have been very good. I’ve heard horror stories, but our rep in Florida has been very helpful and has helped us move things along with great speed and efficiency.

Here are some of my SAG learnings over the course of our production:

1. There’s a lot of SAG paperwork and administrative stuff, but don’t be intimidated by it all. It’s a lot like buying a house. Know what your doing. Make sure you understand what you’re signing. And then get a pen with a lot of ink.

Thankfully, we have a SAG expert as part of our team, and she has been holding our hand all the way through the process. It’s been wonderful!

2. Stunts can be really expensive! There are three variations of the SAG Low Budget Agreement–Normal, Modified, and Ultra Low. As you move down for Normal to Ultra, your pay to SAG actors drops. So, for Ultra Low Budget SAG actors, your minimum is only $100 per day. But, for stunt coordinators, it still remains $722 per day. And, you can’t have a stunt performer without having a stunt coordinator. It adds up quickly, especially if you have multiple days with stunts. Just yesterday, we cut a really cool action sequence because it was too costly. This 10-second action sequence would have cost us thousands of dollars. So, it’s gone. Bummer.

I guess it’s a bit of an oxymoron to say I’m doing a SAG Ultra Low Budget action flick.

3. The bond! In your budgets, don’t forget about the SAG bond. SAG requires you to submit a list of SAG actors in your film, and then you pay a 40% bond (based on SAG actors salaries) to make sure you cover all of the Pension and Health benefits for the SAG actors. The problem is that you don’t see that money until after the shoot is done. So, plan for it!

4. Don’t be afraid of SAG. The contracts and requirements take a bit of time to learn, but it’s not bad. We’ve had some great opportunities to hire some incredible actors by going with SAG. Just yesterday, I spent half an hour on the phone with an actress out of NY that most of you would know. We chatted about the project and she was interested, but we couldn’t find a fit. She was very cordial and I look forward to speaking with her regarding my next film.

That’ll be all for today, students. Your homework will be due on Tuesday.

February 2nd, 2007

Choosing between right and right

Earlier in the blog, I talked about a million decisions you have to make as producer/director. I was wrong–it’s about 4 million.

And the choices are not easy. It’s not like an easy choice between right and wrong; those are easy choices. The choices are between right and right. Good choice versus good choice.

You don’t choose the bad actor or the bad make up artist or the bad sound guy. Those choices are obvious. You pick good ones, great ones. And thankfully, the pool of experience and talent in this area is pretty is amazing. Lots to choose from.

Our entire crew is now on board, and I’m am very pleased with everyone. So much experience. So much wisdom. I sit in my office at times, listening to them doing what they do best, and I’m in awe. They are so good at what they do. It releases me to do what I am supposed to be doing–making the best movie possible.

But to do that, I have to make miliions of choices. Well, 4 million.

This week, we’re finalizing our cast. A few actors rose to the surface as the right chocies. Others were not so obvious. Does she have the look you want? Does he have the internal intensity you need? Will they accept direction or just go their own way? All these things are swirling in my head as I make these choices between right and right.

Or, maybe I should just flip a coin?

January 26th, 2007

Production Week

I’m sitting at my desk here at our production office. It’s our first week in the offices, and now it’s Friday. I sat down here Monday morning thinking to myself, “I need to blog everyday this week to document my experience.” That was Monday, and now it’s Friday. It’s been busy!

On Monday, we started our auditions. After receiving a few hundred headshots, we narrowed it down to 20 or so candidates for each role. We had them come in and read for the various roles. I, personally, didn’t sit in the auditions. And you may be wondering why the director is not sitting in on the auditions. Because we’ll be having call backs. Our casting director, Nikki, is the first line of defense. During the callbacks, I’ll be directing and more of part of the auditions. That’s when we’ll decide who is cast.

Later in the week, we pressed through more crew hires–script supervisors, sound people, post production supervisors, first AD’s. The interviews were good. Lots of good talent here in Dallas. We should have our final crew decided upon this week, especially since we start the script breakdown next Monday.

Also, we received our polished rewrite yesterday, and it’s looking really good. Leilani did a great job. We have to go back and tweak a few things. The science of the story needs to be reviewed. As an engineer (and big sci-fi fan), I’m a bit of stickler when it comes to the science of the story.

All in all, things are moving along nicely. Great people are coming on board.

January 26th, 2007

C2E (Cast and Crew Expectations)

As we start this production, it’s important to me that everyone be on the same page–not just from a production point of view, but from a personal and relational point of view. We have certain expectations that we will expect from everyone working on the project. So, I created this document to outline and communicate those expectations.

We’re making a movie. And, as we make this movie, it’s going to be an exciting time of creativity and craft, persistence and perseverance, intensity and elation, hard work and great rewards. For a short few weeks, a small band of people will join together with one vision and one focus to accomplish the goal of making a movie. Yet, as we work towards that goal, it is imperative that we do not compromise integrity, relationships and excellence. To work together with the utmost efficiency and excellence, those working on this project must agree to the following production principles:

This production is about people–not the fictional people in the story, but those who bring this story to life. It’s about you, the production cast and crew. Since people are the most important element of this project, everyone will be treated with respect. Everyone is equal in value and purpose, and everyone will be treated as such. Failure to treat people with respect will be dealt with quickly and accordingly.

Negative, degrading, hindering attitudes will not be tolerated. Either you’re a problem-maker or a problem-solver. As we start this production, you will experience problems. That’s the nature of filmmaking. Successful teams are about finding creative, cost-efficient solutions. We make it work. We optimize the compromise and make it happen. But, we don’t complain. We don’t gripe. We don’t feed the problem–we feed the solution. So, don’t come to me or your manager with just a problem–come with your problem and some ideas for a solution.

The spirit of independent, low-budget films is simple–find creative solutions to tell a great story. It’s about taking $1 and making it look like $5 on the screen. Acting, lighting, sets, camera, makeup, wardrobe–everything must be done creatively and efficiently.

You are part of this team because you are good at what you do. We call upon your excellence and experience to do the best work you can do on this project. If you want to give less than 100%, then find another project to work on. We expect your best, because we’re giving our best. We don’t expect perfection. Humility and teachability are essential. Ask questions, learn, experience and enjoy this exciting time of production.

January 11th, 2007

Top Three Priorities

As pre-production draws near, I’ve got three things to focus on:

1. Casting
2. Locations
3. The Story

1. Casting
Casting can be key to a successful film, and it takes time. You have to find that balance between price, experience and recognition. Name talent is that one element of film production that can sky rocket your budget, but it’s also that key element that can secure distribution for your film. I’ve heard that when talking with distributors, the first question is always, “Who’s in you film?”

The big question is: do you spend lots of money to secure a name talent, let your production value suffer a bit but have a strong potential for distribution? Or, do you go with no name talent, put the money back into your production, and reduce your chances for profitable distribution? What’s behind door number 3?

2. Locations
For those of you who have read the story know that locations are very important for this script. We have two weeks scheduled to shoot at one location, a house. And, the house is so important to the story. We can’t just use any house–we need the perfect house. Carolyn Hodge has come on board as our locations person, and she’s is spending her days right now driving, scouting and snapping pictures.

3. The Story
We’ve decided to polish the script a little more. We’ve brought on a lady in LA who does script rewrites for Revolution Studios. We’ve given her all of our ideas and thoughts and released to start re-writing. We’re looking forward to reading her ideas and seeing the story come alive.

January 11th, 2007

Production & Fresh Powder

As I write this, I’m currently staying in a cabin in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. My family and I make the snow trek once every year, and this year is no different. I wanted to spend some time away before production kicks into high gear.

You know, people talk about how they want to get away from the stresses of work and take vacations to relax. It’s funny, but I love production. The challenge, the adventure, the problem solving. All this is very exciting to me. Yeah, it’s got its stresses, but nothing like the stresses from corporate world. It’s one thing to be stressed and hating it. It’s another thing to be under stress, but loving what you do.

So, here’s how I’m spending my vacation: getting up early in the morning. (I’m still on Texas time). Then, working through the barrage of emails: locations, equipment, insurance, casting, etc. Then, when the sun comes up, we hit the slopes. Woo hoo!

Back to the cabin for a nice relaxing dinner, some more productions emails, a few casting decisions and then a nice evening with the family playing games and reading. Now, that’s a vacation!

January 1st, 2007

Welcome Eric Whitney! (Production Design)

Eric Whitney joins our team for Production Design. Eric comes with 22 feature films under his belt. We look forward to drawing from his experience and expertise in the film industry.

December 21st, 2006

Welcome Jennifer Wyatt Beasley! (UPM)

We’d like to welcome Jennifer Wyatt Beasley. Jennifer comes on board as our UPM, Unit Production Manager. She brings with her lots of feature film experience, and great connections in the Dallas area. We’re glad to have her on board.

December 3rd, 2006

Just moviemaking

As the year comes to close, I was hoping to spend December focusing in on the details so that we can kick things into high gear come January 1. But, it’s hard to stay focused when good, corporate projects keep coming in.

For example, we flew to Wisconsin to spend some time with family over Thanksgiving. Ah, a needed vacation for some nice R&R. As we sat in DFW airport waiting to board the plane for our nice, peaceful Thanksgiving week, I get a call. It’s Nokia. They want to shoot 2 television commercials and a web commercial on Thanksgiving weekend! So much for our peaceful Thanksgiving.

I spent Thanksgiving week in Wisconsin on email and the phone. We cut our trip short and headed back to a crazy weekend shoot the day after Thanksgiving–the turkey still digesting in my stomach. But, we pulled it off. We were able to hire a crew with some good talent all within in three days. And, we got it shot, and shot well. Another happy customer!

But that’s not all. Here’s what I’ve got on my plate for December: a music video, a church Christmas production and a proposal for a client who wants 17 web episodes next year.

So, what do I do? I sleep very little, and do it all. Why? Because here’s what I’m experiencing: confidence.

Let me explain. One of my biggest concerns with this project has been this: Can I really do it? Can I really handle the pressure of being both the producer and director for a feature film? Can I handle the long shoot days and intense pressure? I know it’s going to be there. I know it’s going to be difficult. But, how would I respond to such pressure?

Coming from 16 years of corporate America, I will admit, it was easy. It was a cushy corporate job. I went home every day at 5 o’clock and never thought about work until the next morning when I sat down in my cubicle. There was a little pressure, but it was rare and short-lived.

Production is a different animal. Lots of decisions. Lots of pressure. Lots of intensity. Not that it’s bad. Pressure can be good. Intensity is sometimes needed. But, I had this lingering question in the back of mind, Can I really handle it?

When we got back from Wisconsin, I hit the ground running. We spent Friday, not shopping, but prepping. We had a long shoot day on Saturday and another long day on Sunday. Then, on Monday at 8 am, we kicked off the church Christmas shoot for 10 hours. And, again on Tuesday, 10 more hours with more shoots later in the week.

I drove home late Tuesday night having a great time, loving the production, loving the intensity, loving the fact that I’m producing. It’s a good thing to love what you’re doing.

“There is nothing better for people than to be happy in their work” (Ecclesiastes 3:22a).

Amazingly, in the midst of all this, I’m still meeting with potential crew members, negotiating equipment deals, polishing the film budget and doing lots of stuff. It’s part of that production energy that moves and flows through you when you love what you do.

I do expect the corporate stuff to stop on January 1. If not, then I will make it stop. I want my sole focus to be on this production. No distractions. No other projects. Just moviemaking.

November 9th, 2006

The Market

AFM LogoI have just returned for AFM, the American Film Market. It was quite an experience! It was located in Santa Monica, California.

AFM is where movie buyers and sellers get together to do business. The Santa Monica Leow’s hotel is converted to a big business exchange. All of the rooms are converted to viewing offices where distribution companies setup shop. As you walk through the hotel hallways, each room now has movie posters, television sets playing the movies and office chairs to invite you in.

Here’s what I learned about the Movie Market:

• There’s a lot of new movies out there. 590 films were screened, a record number for AFM.
• The majority of those films were horror genre.
• Name talent is key for securing profitable distribution.
• The production value for most of the films was remarkably good.
• AFM is focused more on foreign distribution, not domestic.
• Story is king.

I spent most of my time at AFM bouncing around from screening to screening. I wanted to see what kinds of movies were being sold into the foreign markets. Amazingly, horror was very popular, and here’s why:

• Fear communicates across most cultural differences. Romance, for example, does not.
• You don’t need name talent for horror movies. Everyone dies off anyway.
• Horror budgets are considerably cheaper.

Because horror is popular for foreign distribution, most countries outside of the US perceive that it what most Americans watch on television and at the movies. And sadly, that’s becoming more and more true. For example Saw III and Hostel (both graphic torture movies) were box office hits.

I walked away from AFM with the following:

• I have a renewed sense of purpose for our project. I want to make films that make a difference, not just to entertain.
• Horror is a flooded market. Everyone is doing it, but good storytelling is ripe for the pickin’. Our movie will be ripe for the pickin’.
• Production value is very important
• Distribution will be very interesting

Besides AFM, I spent many days in meetings and discussions with those in the industry. I met with:

• A producer
• A diretor of photography
• A director
• A composer and sound guy
• A casting agent

All in all, it was a great trip and very productive. Thanks to Rand and his family for putting me up and feeding me well, and for letting me use their car to trek around the LA area. Thanks!

October 28th, 2006

A million decisions

Russ deciding...

As producer and director of this feature film, I estimate that I’ll have to make about a million decisions. And, I don’t think it’s an exaggeration.

It’s amazing how many decisions you need to make. In a sense, you are running a small company for a few months, so you have all of the business decisions you need to make as if running a small company, like finances, marketing, leadership, managers, payroll, insurance, guilds, unions, schedules, milestones, tasks, budgets, personnel, taxes, investors, lawyers, accountants and finances. Did I mention finances?

Oh yeah, and we’re making a movie. So, there are all those decisions, like creative, visuals, scripts, production design, lighting, camera packages, film stock, formats, digitization, workflow, deliveries, post production, effects, CGI, locations, permissions, casting, and finances.

It’s like each area has a thousand decisions, and each one needs to be made as accurately as possible. (Anyone see “The Butterfly Effect”?)

Here’s my problem: I’m a thinker. During my corporate stint, we took these personality evaluations. There were team leaders, creatives, motivators, and workerbees. I was classified as a “monitor/evaluator”. I’m the one in a meeting who doesn’t say much, because I’m monitoring and evaluating to determine the best course of action.

I like to make decisions based on good, solid, reliable information. Then, I evaluate it and make the best possible decision. It doesn’t sound bad, unless you need to make a million decisions. If I’m not careful, the monitor/evaluator in me can extend our production schedule from 4 months to 4 years.

I quickly realized that I can’t be this way on this production as producer and director. I can’t ponder my decisions very long. I have do the best as fast as I can and then live with the consequences. I don’t see this as a bad thing, just different than what I’m used to.

I have more to say on this, but I’m trying to decide…

October 21st, 2006

Building the team

It’s amazing how a movie production works! It’s literally a small company, and I’m the CEO, CFO, CMO, (all other O’s), and General Manager. And with this small company, I will have to hire, manage and run this business for the length of the production (most likely about two months). We have payroll, taxes, work for hire contracts, hiring, firing, schedules, milestones, and maybe even a cubicle.

Note to self: go rent “Office Space” again.

I’m glad I have 16 years of corporate business experience. I’m familiar with org charts, managerial issues, process definitions, workflow, etc. I’m finding that a movie production is very similar. Here’s the org chart for our production.

Fissure Production Chart

As the director, my first three key hires are: Unit Production Manager (UPM), Production Designer (PD) and Director of Photographer (DP). I need to find a UPM who can manage most of the other team members of the production. The PD and DP are more visual and require direct management from the director.

As producer/director, I need a UPM who can manage a lot of the team hiring and management so that I can focus on the key issues like directing and bringing this show to life.

It’s interesting when you look at the differences between a Line Producer and UPM. The Line Producer is an opening credit, and it’s a role that is much more coveted than an UPM role. It’s a producer credit. The UPM credit appears at the end of the movie, but did you know that typically, the first credit you see after the movie ends is the UPM credit? Interesting.

Here’s something I found on the web about what a Line Producer does. Good stuff.

Line Producer
The Line Producer in the film and television industry is involved in the whole process of producing feature films, television and corporate videos. He works closely with the Production Coordinator and Production Manager.

Central Aspects
• Dealing with paperwork such as letters, forms and records
• Organizing or supervising other people
• Planning how work is to be carried out

Secondary Aspects
• Being involved with music, drama or dance performance
• Keeping accurate records or reports
• Making agreements through negotiating and bargaining
• Work involving teamwork and co-operation

Other Aspects
• Working under pressure
• Being away from home regularly
• Working evenings or weekends

Work Activities

The Line Producer, Production Manager and Production Coordinator work on the schedule of a production in terms of the time and days required for each stage of the production (research, rehearsal, shooting, editing, post-production). They work together in organizing/booking the crew, cast, locations, facilities required.

The Line Producer goes out on the set or shoot with the crew and his/her primary function is as a trouble-shooter on the set. The Line Producer ensures that everything required is organized and in place for the Director and the rest of the crew so that production can proceed as scheduled.

The Line Producer would be responsible for the daily expenses of the crew and getting receipts for all expenditure, and would often be responsible for determining overtime requirements. If archive footage is being used in a production, it’s the Line Producers’ job to source it or oversee whatever research is needed to source extra footage; to negotiate the use of same and to ensure that everything is returned to source after use.

The Line Producer also works on post-production and would be responsible for booking personnel required at that stage; voice-overs / narrators for example and any music that’s required, whether it’s looking after copyright regulations or organizing an original score.

The Line Producer generally negotiates legal and statutory contracts. He/she logs and transcribes interviews recorded, necessary for the edit stage and works on post-production with the Director and Editor. The Production Manager and Production Coordinator report back to the Line Producer on progress at all stages.

October 14th, 2006

Name Talent

Of all the filmmakers I meet in this journey, there is one piece of advice that repeats like a broken record: “land a name talent for the lead.”

The only problem is that good name talent is almost always unaffordable. Even with the new Low Budget SAG agreements, good name talent is out of reach. So, you end up with a great story, great production values, even great non-SAG actors, but no distributor will give you the time of day, unless you win the lottery and land your film in Sundance or Cannes, or some big name festival.

So, what do you?

Maybe you can find a well known actor who’s interested in low-budget projects if the story is right. Or, maybe you know someone who knows someone. Or, maybe you find a distributor who likes the project, and will give you some pre-sale agreement that gives you the extra money to land name talent.

Or, you pray.

October 12th, 2006


After development, we were ready to start production. But, you can’t really produce anything without any money. So, our next step was to raise the money.

There are a number of ways to raise money for a movie production.

Private Money
For first-time filmmakers, it’s always best to raise private money from private investors. That’s why you start with a low-budget feature, so you can quickly raise private money and get your film made. As your projects begin to grow in size and budget, then you can move into…

Pre-sale deals
This is where you agree to distribute with a certain company, and they promise to buy certain rights at x dollars.

Studio deals
Another option is to secure an agreement with a studio, who has much bigger channels of distribution. But, when a studio gets ahold of your project, you lose considerable control. And, it typically takes having one or two successful movies under your belt.

We are proud to announce that our project is fully funded. We have a single investor who is funding the project. So, we are a greenlight for production. Our new schedule is to do all of our pre-production in January, and start principal photography in February.

A special thanks to our an investor who is as excited about the project as we are. Thanks!

October 1st, 2006

Moving into Development

Now that we had a story, it was time to start developing it.

First, we optioned the script from Nick Turner for one year. That simply means we paid for the “option” to buy it if we found it was a story worthy of production. You pay an amount that legally holds the script for a set amount of time. The owner can’t sell it to someone else. The contract also guarantees that we can purchase it at a future date.

Nikki on Production BoardsIn August, we hired a Line Producer (Nikki Nanos) to help us breakdown the script. That’s where you go through each scene and create a little strip with information about that scene. Then, you arrange them based on shooting schedules. This is tediious and time-consuming, especially since Nick and I (Russ) kept doing rewrites while she was breaking down the script. That’s like trying to hit a moving target. (I think Nikki was about ready to hit me, but I kept moving.)

After the long and tedious process, you have your schedule in the form of a Production Board.
Nikki finishes Production Boards

This step of the process was really important, because now we had a number of shooting days, and the entire schedule revolves around these shooting days. Through the production boards, we also have our locations defined and our cast members defined. It’s a very good process.

September 28th, 2006

Finding the story

After we decided to make a movie, we had to get a story. It was May of 2006.

I always wanted to write my own story. I love storytelling, and when I write, I always see things in my head. It’s see the surroundings, the people, the buildings. I hear the sounds, the music, the voices. I sense the smells, the emotions, the dangers.

So, I spent the next weeks studying story structure, reading Chris Vogler’s book on the Hero’s Journey. He outlined twelve stages of the Hero’s Journey:

• Ordinary World
• Call To Adventure
• Refusal Of The Call
• Meeting With The Mentor
• Crossing the First Threshold
• Tests, Allies, Enemies
• Approach
• Supreme Ordeal
• Reward
• The Road Back
• Resurrection
• Return With Elixir

With my math background, I was now eqiupped with a formula for success. After all, Star Wars followed this outline. Woo hoo! Let’s start writing.

Quickly, I realize that storyteling was considerably harder than just plugging in a formula. It actually required some amazing creativity. Yet, we pressed on.

We came up with a story about a guy who dreams of a car crash, but awakes in bed with his wife. It was only a dream. Later, throughout the day, things start to unravel. Things don’t seem real. Bizarre things start to happen. There is a lady there throughout the story to help him through his ordeal.

We thought it was a great start. It was only a couple of locations and a small cast, so the budget was low. So, we sent our writer friend, Mike, down that path. Yet, we only had about three months, because we wanted to start shooting on July 1.

But, July 1 came and went. The story development was going to take more time than we had planned for.

So, we decided to take another route–find a story that’s already developed.

We created a website page. Here, we described our goals, targets and movie objectives. Then, I posted the site to some writer’s forums.

The stories flooded in. Within in one week, we had received about 450 submissions. I specifically asked for a logline, synopsis (no scripts) and for the story to meet our criteria:

• Had to be a redeeming story.
• Had to be low budget.
• You need to be flexible with you story, so we can tweak as needed.

Note to writers: If someone wants a story with certain criteria, please make some effort to meet those criteria. We trashed hundreds of stories that were the most unredeeming stories. And we trashed many big budget stories. And, there were a few who demanded that we cast Bruce Willis or J Lo or Samuel Jackson. Ain’t going to happen! Let us produce the film.

So, we had our webiste and stories were coming in. We narrowed it down to about 30 stories. Narrowed it down to 30! It was crazy, but exciting. I enjoyed skimming through the stories and reading the creativity of others.

But, we found this one story–Fissure. It was really amazing. It was written with a low budget in mind. That was key. It had somewhat of a redeeming ending, but not quite what we were looking for. We wanted that commercially successful, walk-out-of-the-theater-crying, redeeming story. But, it was workable. And the writer was flexibile.

The story structure was truly amazing. The twists, the misdirection, flow, the intesity, the strategic plot points to move the story–all was quite amazing. Rick and I quickly selected it.

We then started working with Nick (our writer) on a new ending, one that would have the redeeming impact we were looking for. After a few revisions, he nailed it.

We had our story!

September 28th, 2006

Three kids lost in the woods

Spring of 2006 arrves, and we’re trying to decide what kind of movie to make. That’s where we started–three kids lost in the woods. Thankfully, we didn’t go down that route, because everyone and their dog has made a movie like this, and it’s almost always shot on DV.

But, that’s where we started: let’s just make a movie, and we’ll use some of our own money to fund it. So, we allocated $5,000 of our own personal money and set out to make a movie.

During that time, we “stumbled” across a writer who was willing to help us write the story. That was exciting. So, he started writing, and we started brainstorming.

We were making a movie.

September 26th, 2006

How did it all start?

In October of 2005, I decided to resign from my cushy, corporate job and pursue my dreams of producing. It was a scary but exciting step. And, today (a year later), I have no regrets (and still no health insurance). But, I’m loving life. Everyday, I get to create. I get to produce. I get to be as successful as I choose to be.

Taking that step was not as hard as it could have been, because I had partnered with a good friend of mine, Rick Morrison, to launch MorrisonPond, a creative marketing agency. Having that partnership helped me land a little softer on the other side of the pond. Thanks Rick!

In January 2006, Rick and I decided to “make a movie”. It’s both of our dreams to tell stories–me on the fiction side, Rick on the non-fiction. But, we’re storytellers. So, we decided to tell a story.

September 4th, 2006

We’re making a movie!

And, we want to share that experience with you as well. So, join us on our journey as we step into the world of movie production.

Our goal is to blog as much as possible so that you can experience this journey with us.

We’re going to spend the next few days (blogs) describing how we got started. And, we’ll play catch up and give you some background on where we came from and where we’re going.