Sunday, October 4, 2020

 It's that time of year!

The holidays are right around the corner -- but it's also that super-special time of year when we remember to make a post in our neglected blog. 

Thank you to COVID-19 so many things got off track in the movie world. 

Even as we prepare for a virtual AFM 2020 Cineworld and Regal Cinemas are "temporarily" closing their US and UK theaters. 

And yet we forge ahead with foolish delight.

We are back in development on a number of projects; one we hope to have ready by the time the AFM rolls around this November 9th. Our own Laurie Ashbourne will be manning a booth at this year's event. Stop by to say howdy and see what we have cooking!

Other than that it's all quiet on the Midwestern front. Mostly. 

We are making as much noise as we possibly can to remind people to vote, posting links on how to, and shedding light on voter suppression. (This 2019 video shows how hard it is to vote in oppressed voting districts:

We are also supporting the NRDC (National Resources Defense Council) to block legislation that opens wild and protected lands to logging and mining. At the forefront are:

Tongass National Forest:  

  • The current admin wants to open up nearly HALF (9 million acres) of the Forest to logging. The Tongass Forest has been called North America's Rain Forest. It's old growth trees have been sweeping carbondioxide from our atmosphere. 

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: 

  • The current admin wants to open this wilderness refuge for oil exploration and drilling. The Arctic Refuge is home to some of the most diverse and spectacular wildlife in the arctic; butterflies, salmon, polar bears, black and brown bears, wolves, moose and more. 

Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase:
  • The current admin wants to reduce the park lands by 85% (1.3 million acres). This land is home to a rich variety of wildlife and indigenous tribes. Recently, the discovery of prehistoric fossils.

Just a few things to add to the jumbled mix of everything else to think about. And after all of the good fights it's time for a movie!

Until our next quarterly (or bi-annual) update, be well, stay safe, watch a movie, have a cupcake, find happiness, and VOTE!

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Meanwhile ...

It's that time of year; our sometimes-semi-annual blog entry so you can delve into our exciting lives. 

Let's catch up, shall we?

After months of looking at the big dirt patch that was our back yard we finally got some new drainage and landscaping done. 

And thank you, Great Clips. I got another non-descript haircut and am now starting to look like the old guy on the Quaker Oats logo. Witness:  

Meanwhile ...

Laurie Ashbourne (our producing partner for Midnight Swing!) has a deliciously creepy Halloween tale set for release in October 2020. Eli Roth is set to direct.

Micky Shiloah and I have determined we are slightly insane (and realistically, possibly brain-damaged) to still want to be in this business. And so we are developing a millennial musical comedy based on one of his songs that I strongly feel should be a showstopper on Broadway. But no. He wants a movie musical feature. And I'm nuts enough to go along with it. But I love this song so much. And he's an all-around good dude, too. 

My one and only Neal has been gigging with Columbus Soul and Salvage and The Neal Show bands. Each are of different ilks. Both are a romping good time. 

But our biggest news! We captured (then adopted) two feral cats that were born under a dumpster in downtown Columbus. If anyone wants details on how to capture a feral at night in wintry sleet and rain, please let me talk you out of it. Here are our boys, Bug and Hopper. Once malnourished and near freezing they are now fat and sassy. To our knowledge, they are the only survivors of their 6-kitty litter.

It took 8 months of cat scratches and real work to get them to this point. 
They're happily getting more accustomed to life with us as we roll along. 

And finally, a huge shout out to Laurie and Micky for taking Midnight Swing to the AFM this year -- and a special tip of the hat to Micky for submitting a video pitch -- then getting selected to pitch in front of the AFM Pitch Conference panel AND a packed house at the Fairmont Hotel. We are still engaged with follow-ups at the time of this entry. Stay tuned to see where we are in another few months!

Until then, be well, be happy, and live a good a life.

Addendum: Because I work at a library I thought I would share a few titles of books I've read this past year and highly recommend. They are not necessarily "new" books. 

1. Arctic Solitaire: A Boat, A Bay, and the Quest for the Perfect Bear by Paul Souders is a true story; riveting and hilarious. I could not get enough of this book. I'm not fond of the cold but this seriously made me want to head off to Alaska. 

2. Beartown: A Novel by Fredrik Backman. It's like Friday Night Lights - only with ice hocky. And crime. It's a brilliant page-turner. 

3. American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West by Nate Blakeslee may very well change your life. I was profoundly moved by this fascinating story and am ready for another trek out to Yellowstone because of it. 

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Scripts and Greens

We interrupt our irregularly scheduled posting to share this zesty, kick-ass Southwest Corn Salad with you.

But if you really, really, truly want to know what else has been going on with our Hollywood dabblings, kick back and relax for a 60-second read.

1. I spent a lovely week speaking with Bohemia Group about Midnight Swing after they read it, "flipped for it" (their words) and and got me on the phone. We talked development stuff: characters, story threads, other sexy stuff. 

In the end, they struggled for 2 days before they decided to pass on our little swing-era confection. 

I indulged in a whole row of Nutter Butters to take the sting out of that one.

2. Another co has asked to read Blood Land. That was 2 weeks ago. Insert CRICKETS CHIRPING here. 

3. If you visit imdbPro you will see that the uber-talented Ron Mason (Avengers: Infinity War) and Vanessa Nirode (Boardwalk Empire) are officially listed as part of the Midnight Swing team:  -- so at least we know the cast will be dressed to the nines and the art direction will be spectacular. 

We promise if we get funding that the craft services will consist of more than Funyuns and Twizzlers. Maybe we'll add this most excellent Southwest Corn Salad to the mix. Would you like that? Would you?

Saturday, June 2, 2018


"Glimmer, Glimmer" announced as a semi-finalist in the 2018 Nashville Film Festival's Screenwriting Contest. YAAAY!

Jordan Horowitz passed on our written pitch for "Midnight Swing."  BOOOO!

In development with Micky Shiloah on a feature (title and genre currently undisclosed). YAAAY!

I got a haircut and joined the Silver Fox club! YAAAY!!

One of my library patrons told me I looked older. BOOOO!

I told him I was not here to charm him with my hair color. YAAAY!

Feeling all alone on a Saturday night bc my man is down in Nelsonville at the big music fest and I had to work today. So I'm going to contact Maisie Williams' reps in the UK and pitch Midnight Swing. What have I got to lose? YAAAY! 

And this pic has nothing to do w my Hollywood ramblings but I found it in a pile of memorabilia, so now I'm getting personal. 

My twisted sisties and me
in picturesque Frankenmuth, MI,
on summer holiday!
(But which one am I?)  :D

Monday, September 4, 2017

Sugar-spun Dreams and Cholera

It's the tail end of summer 2017 and we have a few scripts out and about with folks in tinsel town who may or may not have the means to move things forward.

In spite of dipping a toe into the sparkling pools of Hollywood I'm more aware than ever of the smoke and mirrors.

Big Studios are selling. China is buying -- and then backing out. Deals are not being met or honored and everyone from the indies to the old suits are scrambling for production dollars while SVOD runs away with the silver spoon.

Hollywood is crumbling before our very eyes. Will it be the next Camelot; For one brief shining moment?

Does any of this sugar-spun fantasy really matter when half a world away a woman holds her child who is all sticks and bones while they wait for Cholera to finish them off ?

Do we hang on to the sparkling Hollywood dream while mass atrocities are being carried out in South Sudan -- or while 12 million people are uprooted from their homes from the Iraq/Syrian clashes? The Kurdish and Palestinians and a number of other refugees living on this earth are on a forced march to find a home. Tensions are escalating between hot-headed leaders in need of education and an ego-check.

With all that's going on I have to ask myself what good is a movie?

A screenplay?

A story?

My answer:

It's everything.

Stories help us communicate. They preserve our past and help us face what may lie ahead.

A story can:

  • Lift us out of despair
  • Spark hope
  • Ignite a revolution
  • Inspire us to be our better selves
  • Relate to us so we know we're not alone in the world
  • Bridge cultures
  • Scare us or warn us
  • Make us laugh
  • Help us dream
  • Help us understand
  • Shed light
  • Give us a journey to another world

And no matter the message, we dream spinners cling to Aristotle's words of wisdom. To paraphrase: Art, above all else, must entertain.

If we must live in a world where extreme groups exist, where bullets fly, where mines blow up innocent people and animals, where people are being pushed out of their homes, one small spark of an idea, shared on a page or a screen, may give us pause long enough to help enlighten the world through our shared human experiences.

Is a story necessary?


Water. Food. Air. Shelter. Those are necessary to survive.

But stories make your life soar.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

All Quiet on the Eastern Front

This week we celebrated Valentine's Day with chocolate-covered cranberries that we ate during intermission at the Ballet. 

Much to my enchantment I found one stuck to my face when we arrived home.

In other news, I had a lovely chat with the very talented Michael Lloyd - the man behind the Dirty Dancing soundtrack album. 

 We discussed music for Midnight Swing and how it's just as much a character as all the other roles.

We want a musical arc that's sexy, sizzling and vibrant up front ... and ending with more of a gritty, bluesy feel to mirror what the characters go through in the story.

Can I just say how giddy I am with this idea?

I can't let this opp go by without a shout-out to my producing partner for Midnight Swing, Ms. Laurie Ashbourne Sacks, for being selected as one of eight filmmakers for Stage 32's European Co-production Matchmaking Program. I'm over the moon about this and will be watching, following and posting news as it trickles in!

Other notables among friends include Nolan Gerard Funk in an outstanding portrayal of a motherless would-be killer on ABC's Quantico and upcoming recurring guest role on Counterpart (Starz).

And in a surprise stumbling-upon moment we discovered that our friend Micky Shiloah (HBO's West World) will be making an appearance in Ohio ... on screen at a film festival in Marietta, Ohio (a most picturesque river town). 

And what are Neal and I doing?

We are contemplating really important life decisions ... like whether or not to get new carpeting.

And Neal is in the studio bellowing out whimsical lyrics 
and over
and over
and over
again ...
and I'm in the next room over so forgive me 
if I start typing words like "Neptune Head" in this blog entry.