Been a few hectic days. Early morning today for work, yesterday and Wednesday were in Toronto for meetings. Sleep never seems to be my friend. I think I kicked sleep in the shins or something when I was drunk and just don’t remember and haven’t apologized and it’s standing all arms-folded, waiting for my apology.
Hmm… but I’m an asshole so I’ll just keep not sleeping to spite it.
Toronto meetings brought about a big leap forward on my / Mimetic Entertainment’s latest film project. This will be our first major film production. By that I mean, we have distribution locked in advance of filming it. Distribution if you’re unaware is the system by which a film will be released. So when Pixar, for example, rolls out Toy Story 3 into theaters across North America… it’s Disney that is distributing it. Disney has the relationships with the theater chains, handles the marketing and advertising and promotions to make sure the public is aware of the film. That’s the distributor’s job. Filmmakers make the movies, distributors release the movies. In the past I’ve been making films for pocket change, scraping favours together, and just trying to get the film made… and then afterwards trying to shop them around to find a deal for them to be released. Could be on home video, straight to the web, iTunes, television… whatever we can get. We’ve had minor success with it and still working on the past film titles to get them out to the pubic. It’s a hard thing to do. 1000’s of films are made each year that you will never have access to. Never get to see unless you are the filmmaker’s best friend, parents, or maybe their dog that just wants pet while they are screening it alone in their basement.
So this time around we have distribution for a theatrical release followed by home video and television and internet after that. It’s the big leagues you could say. Beyond that yesterday found us an executive producer. I can’t announce directly who it is until all the legal stuff is processed and we do a press release but it’s a done deal. He’s an impressive man. Impressive resume. Even produced an Oscar-winning film, a beloved actor’s last film before untimely death, and several other popular favorites. Having this producer on board helps pave the way to financing options for the film, it helps get some a-list talent on board if I so choose to (but I’ll write further down what my real vision is for this project), and it helps get the film out there in a bigger, more bad-ass way. Believe you me, if this is our first major production, we are not going to fuck around and misfire. “You only get one shot, do not miss your opportunity…” as Eminem once rapped. We’re actually talking about more than one film project anyhow. There will be a series of films back to back to back to back here.
That announcement will come soon. The part I can talk about is what I hear from friends and family and actors around the Windsor community. I keep getting asked if we’re shooting this in L.A., Toronto, Vancouver… that if there is a big opportunity in film it must mean I’ll be moving away. Well, sit tight folks, and I might be a lunatic for thinking it… but years ago I set out to prove that movies could be made here. When I shot my first feature here in the city of Windsor there were a few films shot before – only two that I can think of that were truly Windsor-made films. They were my inspiration. As technology has made filmmaking more accessible to the every-man and the University has stepped up with an impressive film program there are more and more camera operators, editors, directors, writers, and actors coming into the Windsor scene all the time. People who crewed on my first film and second film now have shorts and features of their own. I always said it would take a few people to anchor themselves into the ground here and not run to another city and it would start to gather other people who wanted to do the same. Teach people and make them aware of what’s possible here and break down the illusion that your location is the primary aspect of making a film. Heck if you move to Toronto or L.A. you’re one person in countless thousands trying to do the same thing. The odds are far more against you than if you stay put here, get the best script you can, and work with your community and what you have access to make your film happen… maybe still while paying cheaper rent than the big city or even sleeping under your parent’s roof and lessening much life stress while you chase your dreams. It will always come down to what your film is that you’re making and how much determination you have to get it down. Shitty excuses to not make a film are the same here as they are in Toronto. So I’ve taught people on sets, I’ve had co-op students and interns- many of them are now prominent members in the local film scene. This is awesome. This is exactly what I always wanted to happen. Other filmmakers are mentoring different sets of people that are now making their own projects. If these folks do the same for the next wave of filmmakers- who knows what can happen here right?
Back to my original stream here. I will not be leaving Windsor to make these films (well maybe venturing into parts of Essex County too). My vision:
To make a “Hollywood” film right here. A few of them actually. The locations, the cast and crew, everything. There is so much talent here. So many determined and hard working people. I’ve always believed the world just needed a beacon signal to pick-up on and see that there is more and more potential for films to happen here. It will take a lot of working together, team building, but it’s entirely possible. It would be amazing if most (if not all) cast and crew were from right here. I’m striving for that as much as possible. The distributor and producer have given me complete creative control so there won’t be any vision-bending as the projects get off the ground.
With that- I need cast and crew. We’ll be starting the recruiting process right soon, but for now if you wanted a head-start, you can email me: firstname.lastname@example.org attach resumes/ headshots/ interest in film – subject message: NEW FILM PROJECT and I’ll begin cataloging those interested before we get into selections hardcore in a month or so.
That’s the updates for now. I’m off to some meetings today, going to see WIT @ The Capitol Theater this weekend… and you should too – check out http://www.1213productions.com for details and ticket information. It’s going to be a great show!
Stay tuned and happy Friday,