It’s been a while since I’ve been able to find time to refocus on the site and properly take stock of everything that’s happened in the last year – let alone assemble it in some sort of language that makes sense and encapsulates it all.
January 2017 saw me take on several gigs but eventually set up success for an awesome February. In addition to finding romance with, my now fiancee, Tanya whom I met while shooting the Kittie doc in 2015, it also was marked with tragedy. Good friend and colleague, Trish Doan passed away and left a lot of us wondering what matters most in the world. Trish was the reason I was able to come on board and direct the Kittie doc, and thus a major reason I found my new romance with Tanya. Ongoing talks with our distributor felt like they were never going to end around this time, but both sides persisted during negotiations and after our fair use pass, insurance, and figuring out the finer deal points, world wide rights to the doc sold to Lightyear Entertainment.
Editing Power of Grayskull, the He-Man/Masters of the Universe doc I co-directed and co-wrote started in Nov 2016 but continued through to May 2017 with a lot of revisions, refinements and last minute interviews added. In fact it seemed like every time we had the cut sorted, we had another opportunity to add “someone significant.” From Dolph Lundgren to Frank Langella plus a few others, the cut kept evolving more and more until the summer – that’s when the team really stopped and did a double take of what we actually had to gauge if it was what we needed. It wasn’t where it needed to be and after many rounds of notes and a lot of discussions the cut finally took shape to something a bit closer to our unified vision of what a documentary on this subject should be and how it should feel. Distribution talks for this film had started in May and continued into the fall of 2017 when we finally secured a deal we felt that honored the film we made. Nowadays there are a lot of ways to sell a film and we still had other platforms open for it – that’s where we are right now. We’re gauging how to handle our other opportunities in tandem with one the deal we like, which isn’t always clean or easy.
Flashing back to January I had the chance to collaborate with long time friend and colleague, Justin Schoenrock. Justin has won several Emmy and ProMax awards for his commercial work and had another opportunity come his way: the season opener commercial for the Chicago White Sox. He reached out to me and asked if I wanted to write, direct, and co-edit the spot with him. Of course I did! Our shoot was going to be a quick 2-day gig that featured a lot of community faces and warmth – then the blizzard hit. After over 100 days with no snow, Chicago was hit with a blinding blizzard that forced us to get really creative with our shot choices, locations, and look. This was a commercial for spring time baseball… not the NHL Winter Classic. We couldn’t have any snow in any shot – let alone cold breath! Our shoot extended to a third day and a few more interiors than we planned but we got everything in the can, and had a decent cut before I returned back to Canada to focus on post-production for Box Art. The spot aired and the White Sox and NBC Sports were really happy -more so when the commercial was nominated for three Emmys. While it never ended up garnering any awards, it was nice to be nominated for writing, directing and producing.
Nintendo Quest and Nintendo Quest Power Tour also continued to pick up sales throughout 2017 including sales to Super Channel, GINX, and Lionsgate’s Comic Con HQ. These sales have actually sparked a lot more new interest in both the film and the series in more ways than even the initial release saw so it was exciting to handle some new press interviews that had new takes on the content that was now about 4 years old, in the case of the film.
2017 also saw me actually work with a couple of video game companies: Digital Dreams Entertainment and Tiny Titan Studios. In both instances I was brought on for writing and editing duties but each had a very different approach to the medium, which shouldn’t be surprising given the former was developing Mutant Football League for Steam and consoles and the later was developing and manage free-to-play mobile titles. I was thankful for both experiences, but also glad to continue with my film work going forward.
With 2017 coming to a close, my focus continues to be in post-production for Box Art: A Gaming Docu-Series and at least two music-related projects. First, I produced and directed a live concert of Kittie that featured several members of the band’s career which took place after the Kittie Documentary’s premiere on October 27. We shot it with 7 cameras and have some cool release options that might see a lot of material from the doc reworked and released as standalone pieces as well. And second, I’ve contracted to write/direct a music video for The White Swan, which is a relatively new band from Kittie co-founder, Mercedes Lander. I’ll post the details on both as they become available.
Lastly, we think we’re getting closer to some serious and legitimate direct development on the Nintendo Quest-based NES game, “Gamer Quest.” Joe Granato, our lead dev, has almost finished perfecting his NESmaker Toolset that’s integral to creating our game, as well as releasing his title, Mystic Searches. It’s been a long development period and it’s gonna be a while longer. Joe has started some Youtube videos on the creation process, which you can see HERE.
Like any year, it’s hard to say how things will unfold but for 2018 we hope to develop a new documentary feature, sell Box Art world wide, and even return to narrative filmmaking with a special project.