Monday, July 2, 2012

It all started during an after meeting dinner.  Ren, Tom, and myself became quick friends after we met through the Wisconsin Screenwriters Forum, a non-profit support group for screenwriters worldwide that I was president of.  After a monthly meeting, we went out for drinks and wings.  As always, the discussion lead to film. 

We had always had a great connection with film and could speak its impact and history fluently between the three of us.  What I lacked in the knowledge of classics and academics of film history, Tom could quickly pick up the slack (And there was much of it on my part).  What I lacked in the areas of independent film and Woody Allen, Ren was always there.  And in turn, I knew the studio system and the ins and outs of the contemporary film industry and its offerings.  What I lacked in the knowledge of classics, I fully made up for in anything from the late 70s through today, and had a grasp on studio fare, both good and bad.

Needless to say, together, the conversation was never lacking.

The dinner continued.  We talked smart.  We talked about screenwriting and filmmaking.  I was always impressed with Ren's history.  Here was a guy who embedded himself in filmmaking.  He wasn't just a talker, he was a doer, working in independent horror productions in the seventies.  He was part of the blood sweat and tears.

I come from the studio system.  I'm a former studio liaison, working with incoming productions.  I'm a former studio reader, writing studio coverage.  I'm currently a represented and working screenwriter, despite having relocated back here to my home state of Wisconsin to raise our children close to family.  I'm what I call a "blue collar" screenwriter.  I haven't hit the six figure deals yet.  Most don't.  But I've had some success and am thankful for that.  Such a career is a grind... with ups and downs.  I'm a high concept writer struggling to be that go-to guy for the studios.  I've come close.  I've succeeded and failed.  It's been clear to me I needed something else, beyond what I had known.  Being stagnant and complacent is not something my spirit can handle for too long.  That's where Evangelist came in.

Our dinner discussion lead to the topic of seeing our script made.  Then there was that fateful moment of realization between the three of us.  That spark.  Tom then said, "I've had this story and character in my head, it's about..."

We listened.  We spitballed.  We realized that we all NEEDED to do this.  To have the control.  To be the decision makers.  To be the ones that could develop AND deliver.  Thus our union was born.

I've had offers from friends and peers to collaborate before.  Most I never felt comfortable with.  Some I've tried, with some success and some failures, most of my doing.  But when these two friends of mine and I finally made this decision, it was something that forced me to ask myself, "Why didn't I see this sooner?"

So here we are.  We've developed a powerful script and character.  We've just locked casting for our leads, which we will soon announce.  We've location scouted.  We've locked a composer.  We've shot promos and we've shot the teasers.  We'll soon "crew up".  It's coming to life.

I myself have always had to wait for others, but now, as producer, teamed with my co-producer/writer Tom and co-producer/director Ren, we're making waves.  Get ready for the squall ladies and gentlemen!