At the beginning of the month, I took a road trip south with ETPC producers, Jessica Marie and Reno Lauro. I met with One Big Soul collaborator and filmmaker Jason Blevins to discuss EL TONTO POR CRISTO and Malick's influence through contemporary filmmakers.
It's a mental game, emotional game, fortitude game, and money game; it's also the long game of beauty, truth, and goodness that I choose to pursue and decide to play, bruises and all, and I'm here to share it with you.Read more...
This past Saturday, I attended an evening with Barry Corbin at the Isis Theater in Fort Worth. Barry is one of my long-time favorite Texas character actors. You'd know him from Urban Cowboy, Lonesome Dove, Northern Exposure, Dallas, No Country for Old Men, One Tree Hill, and Yellowstone.
I really enjoyed the evening and took away two key things that I already know but are extra affirming coming from someone with such a career as his.
1. The arts matter, local theater matters, and local theaters like the Isis really matter. We need to intentionally support the arts as if our lives depend on them because they actually do.
2. If you want an actor in a project you're working on, ask. Actors want and like to work.
A pic Jess snapped of me, Barry Corbin, and Jordan Ross-The Chosen, 1883, also Barry's grandson, and one of the main supporting actors in El Tonto Por Cristo
If you haven't decided where you'll be giving this Giving Tuesday, please give to the arts a project near and dear to you or a project you're connected to, which, since you're receiving this email update, includes El Tonto Por Cristo.
You are in the pre-production "know" of this Orthodox Tale about a Holy Fool, and any giving through our 501c3 fiscal sponsorship with Film Independent is a tax write-off; matching opportunities are also available.
Thanks again for your eyes, your ears, and your support!
I know many are on Thanksgiving holiday already; mine starts Wednesday afternoon right after work picking up my youngest from the airport and then heading to the hill country for a Thanksgiving meal Tex-Mex style. If you don't know, Jess is 1/2 Mexican, her dad is full, and her mom merges the flavors deliciously.
Speaking of Jess, she always says my first feature, This World Won't Break, is such a Thanksgiving film the way It's a Wonderful Life is a Christmas film because the latter isn't really about Christmas; still, we always view it around the holidays, often the soundtrack to our preparations; it's a ritual of feeling.
Jess feels that way about TWWB, and I'd say I would have to agree. You can put it on in the background while baking, cooking, or having a cocktail. If you're from Texas, you'll nod at the familiar terrain, chuckle at characters you feel you know, and perhaps hum along with the hymnody of the human tale.
Here are a few behind the scene pictures Chris Bourke, my director of photography, sent over from our days on location.
If you haven't seen This World Won't Break yet, turn off your cell phone, grab something bubbly, put the kids to bed, and settle in for this Texas slow burn. My love letter to Dallas.
Enjoy it for free while it's still on Amazon Prime.
Jess took me to Tyler State Park to celebrate my birthday back in October. A night under the stars and fishing from a flat bottom boat really refreshed my soul. I had previously scheduled to join an early morning Zoom that next day with a collective of filmmakers from Byzanfest, so I took it with my instant Folgers camp coffee in the early AM in the piney woods, and it was just right. This was a good reminder for me that this digital age has its perks, a bit of respite in the woods for your soul can still happen, and so can the Zoom meetings you committed to. It's a both and, right?
Also, I really can't say enough about Tyler State Park. If you live in Dallas, it's only an hour and twenty minutes away.
Speaking of the Melbourne, Australia-based film festival Byzanfest, Chris Vlahonasios, the founder, was kind enough to reach out after seeing a repost of El Tonto Por Cristo's proof of concept from one of our investors. After connecting, he arranged for the POC to be played before the film festival screening. It was fantastic to connect with those folks. It's a big small world out there.
PRODUCTION CATCH UP
Since I wrote last, I've been a guest on two podcasts, Everyday Orthodox with Elissa Bjeletich Davis and Indie Film Hustle with Alex Ferrari, to chat a bit about indie filmmaking This World Won't Break and the pre-production of El Tonto Por Cristo. Below is the replay from Everyday Orthodox. I'll let you know when Indie Film Hustle airs.
As far as our pre-production goes, we're still securing capital. I have two meetings in the works that are very hopeful. Once we secure our funding, I can confirm our talent on contract and locations. Our target date to shoot was August/September 2022, then February 2023, but it will depend on reaching our funding goal.
There is so much I want to tell you, yet so much I can't until this is all locked in, which could happen with one angel investor who wants to invest or even do a tax write-off before the end of the year.
Maybe that's you? Please tap the button below if you're interested in greenlighting this film.
Thanks again for your eyes, your ears, and your support.
I'm looking forward to connecting with you more throughout the holidays and, God willing, bringing you news of a fully greenlit film!