Time for a Project Update

In fact, it’s way past time for an update!  Time flies when you’re busy and before you know it you realize that it’s been a while since you’ve written anything about the film project.  Yikes!  So I’m remedying that right now.

Last time I talked to you about the project, I was going to be starting a screenwriting class that promised to “get your treatment done in ten weeks.”  Part of the class was also studying a different genre each week.

Now before the class had started I had told one of the teachers that my treatment was about half done and I explained my project and asked if the class was right for me.  He assured me it was, and since he has a stellar reputation, I enrolled in the course.  At the beginning of the course, I sent him a copy of the treatment and was told that I have a very exciting idea.  Good to hear!  I couldn’t wait to get started working on it.

While it was a good class, it wasn’t quite what I expected it to be. When we finally started working on our treatments, about halfway through the class, I was asked to break my story back down to outline form and send it in.

I was not happy with this news.  I wanted to start where I was and move forward.  My story has not been in outline form for a very long time.  Stripping it back down to the outline felt like going backwards to me.  So I contacted the teachers.

In spite of the initial miscommunication, we were able to come to an agreement.  I would complete the genre part of the class and finish writing the treatment on my own with my writer and they would then analyze it for me.

So where are we with the treatment you ask?  I’d say about half to two-thirds done.  It’s going slowly and steadily, but it’s getting a big rewrite.  A lot of changes are being made and I think I’m finally getting to the point where I’m happy with where the story is going.  It’s time consuming, but worth it to get the story right.

Doritos Super Bowl Commercial Contest

About a month ago, my friend Sandra Myers approached me about joining her in producing a commercial for the Doritos Crash the Super Bowl contest.

Sandra and I worked together on the Dockers video I produced last year.  She had directed it for me and had done a fabulous job.  We work really well together, and in this business finding people you work well with is important.  It’s why teams like Brian Grazer and Ron Howard work on project after project together.

But the right person is only part of the equation.  You, also, have to have the right project.  Fortunately, Sandra has the right project.  Her idea is fantastic!  I think it definitely could be one of the top, if not the winning commercial.  This made it easy to say yes.

What, also, made it easy to say yes was the grand prize:  One million dollars!  Now, since I’m partnering with Sandra on this project, I only get half of that but, still, that is five times the amount of last year’s contest.  Five times!  I don’t think I have to tell you what winning that amount could do to for our I-Man cast film project.  I would not only have development money, but also a nice chunk of the pre-production budget.

Oh, and did I mention that the winner gets their commercial aired during the Super Bowl?!

Now, I’m not going to say this is going to be easy.  Last year’s competition had over 6,000 entries and the competition is fierce.  Check out last year’s winner:

You may be wondering if entering another contest is the right way to try to raise money for a movie.  Frankly, it’s probably not any harder than any other method.  This whole business is tough.  As a producer, I can’t let that stop me.  Someone once said that in this business expect to hear 100 noes before you hear a yes.  So, I need be relentless in my quest for funding and look at all the methods available to me.

I just found out yesterday that the contest is definitely on this year.  It starts September 19th!  I hear that there may be some new twists and surprises this year, so I’m anxiously waiting to start reading the rules and regulations and getting more info about it.  Hopefully, it won’t change any of our current plans but, if it does, we’ll make any adjustments as needed.

I’ll be blogging here and on a couple of local Patch sites and giving frequent updates about our progress on the project.  This was something I had wanted to do with the Dockers video, but we were so short on time it never happened.  This time we have a bit more time for pre-production.

I hope you’ll check back often and lend your support to our project!


Mike in “Operation Cupcake”!

Heads up, everyone!  Mike McCafferty will be starring in the upcoming Hallmark Channel movie Operation Cupcake!  It premieres this coming Saturday at 8:00 p.m. Pacific Time.

We all know that Mike has a heart of gold, but here he’ll get to play the bad guy.

The movie also stars Dean Cain, Kristy Swanson, and Donna Pescow.

If you miss it, don’t fret.  Operation Cupcake will have an encore at 10:00 p.m. as well as a few other times.  Just check the new event calendar right here on Shoom Zone for the times; and don’t forget to factor in your own time zone because I’m on Pacific Time here in California.

Be sure to check out the preview video on the Operation Cupcake website page to catch a sneak peak of Mike in action.  This looks like it’s going to be a fun movie!


Save My Favorite Show Video

In Spring of 2011, this short video was shot for a Dockers® contest called Wear the Pants Project™.  The prize was $100k to be used to follow your dream.  Thanks to the votes from all the fans I made it into the semi-finals.

Paul Ben-Victor Interview By Aaron Stipkovich

Paul Ben-Victor’s friend, Aaron Stipkovich, sat down and talked to Paul recently about his film Should’ve Been Romeo.  It’s a wonderful interview and in it Aaron sings Paul’s praises about what a great guy he is.  For those of you who have ever met Paul, you’ll wholeheartedly agree.  The interview is about 30 minutes long and you can watch it below.  You can also read the accompanying article on And Magazine.


“Should’ve Been Romeo” is Premiering This Weekend!

Hey, folks, many of you have already heard the news, but for those of you who haven’t yet, I’m excited to tell you that Paul Ben-Victor’s film Should’ve Been Romeo is having its world premiere this Saturday, April 28, 2012, at the Newport Beach Film Festival!  I remember Paul talking about this movie back when The Invisible Man was airing and it is wonderful to finally get to see his dream for this project fulfilled!  And if seeing Paul act isn’t enough, Vince also has a small part in it!

So if you are in the LA area or are going to be this weekend, please take note.  The show starts at 8:00 p.m. at the Regency Lido Theatre, 3459 Via Lido, Newport Beach, CA.  There will be a party after the screening for an additional cost.

Click here to purchase tickets

Official Should’ve Been Romeo Website


“Bad Actress”

Bad Actress is one of Vincent Ventresca’s latest films!  If you don’t recognize the name, that’s because it has changed.  You might remember it under its previous name 818.  I blogged about it here a while ago.

Check out the trailer…

Now we all get a chance to see Vince in Bad Actress!

If you’re fortunate enough to be in the Los Angeles area, you can watch it at a special screening Wednesday, April 25, 2012, at Laemmle’s Noho 7 in North Hollywood at 7:30 p.m.  And your ticket will get you into the after party at J.E.T. Studios!

Click here to purchase tickets

If you’re not in the LA area, don’t fret.  You can still watch the movie!  Here’s how:

Official Bad Actress Website

Season Five of “In Plain Sight” Starts Tomorrow!

Hey, folks, sorry I’ve been so quiet lately, but the treatment writing and class have been keeping me busy. I wanted to take a few minutes here to remind all of you that In Plain Sight’s final season starts tomorrow, March 16. I believe this is a short season too, so if you want to watch Paul Ben-Victor in the role of Stan McQueen, don’t hesitate to tune in before the show disappears!

The show starts at 10/9 Central on the USA channel.  As usual, be sure to check your local listings for the correct time and channel in your area.

Here’s a sneak peak…

2011 to 2012: The Year in Review and the Coming Year

January is a good time to review the past year as well as lay out what the plans are for the coming year, so let’s start with last year first, shall we?

The year started out really promising.  We had barely finished the “Name the Movie Characters Contest” when I found out about the Dockers contest.  I hadn’t planned on entering a contest, especially since I just got done running one, but the prize of $100,000 was definitely tempting and would have provided some much needed seed money for the project.  Competing in that contest was a lot of fun and a lot of work.  All of you were awesome.  You voted your hearts out.  I could have never made it into the semi-finals without you.  And while I didn’t make it into the finals, I got some valuable experience producing my first video.  It wasn’t a cheap education (I’m still paying off the loan and will be for quite a while.), but it was a great learning experience.

Getting all the footage from the shoot has been quite a challenge this past year.    Those tapes have spent many long months going from one place to another without any results.  I finally found out that I had to have the original camera in order to get the footage digitized.  Without the camera nobody was able to transfer the footage from tape to digital.  The last of the footage (the audition tapes) is almost done, so soon I’ll finally be able to show you the fun behind-the-scenes footage and pictures and discuss the whole experience.

The rest of the year was supposed to be spent focusing on getting the story treatment finished.  Unfortunately, it just sort of fizzled.  Health problems got in the way.  You see, a while back I was diagnosed with a severe sleeping disorder.  At first I didn’t want to face the fact that I had a problem, but it became progressively worse and has really affected my ability to function during the day.  I get very little sleep at night and end up feeling like a walking zombie during the day.  I promise I don’t eat people, but I have been known to walk around in a daze and moan and groan sometimes.  But, seriously, if any of you have ever suffered from sleeplessness, you’ve got an inkling of what I’m dealing with.  Needless to say, it’s been a challenge being able to handle one job, let alone two, so, unfortunately, the film project has suffered and progress has been less than a snails pace.  I can’t tell you how frustrating this has been for me.  But the good news is that recently I started treatment for my condition.  It’s going slow, but I’m hopeful and looking forward to being able to function like a normal human being in the near future.

So now we get to this year.  I’ve started treatment for my sleep issues; I’m looking forward to getting a good night’s sleep and my energy back; and I’m impatient with the progress of this film project.  With that frame of mind, I happened to come across a class taught by a prominent screenwriting teacher that promises to “get your treatment done in ten weeks.”  So I signed up for it.  I thought this would be a good way to kick start this project and finally get the treatment done.  Am I being overly optimistic that I’ll be able to keep up with the class schedule?  Well, we’ll see.  I’m assuming that with time my sleep problems will improve; and it’s not like I’m having to do the homework all by myself.  I’ll be giving notes to my writer and the two of us will be working on the treatment together each week.

Class starts next week.  If everything goes according to plan, we’ll have a completed treatment by the beginning of April.  After that I will probably run the treatment by one or two other script analysts in order to get other opinions.  Once we have it finalized, I’ll be running it by one last person:  my lawyer.  When he clears it I will then be able to finally show it to the cast.  If they like it, I will instruct my screenwriter to begin writing the screenplay.  That will be a six-month project, according to our contract, which means we’ll have a completed screenplay by the end of the year!

During those six months when my writer is busy writing the screenplay, I’ll be starting the business plan, putting together a production team, and preparing to raise funding for the project.  Since this is a transmedia project, I’ll, also, be looking into ways to start marketing the project and grow the audience by means of other related media projects.

If everything goes as planned, this year should be an exciting year with a lot of progress being made toward the goal of getting the Invisible Man cast together.  I hope you’ll be here with me to watch the progress!