Entries Tagged as 'Randomness'

Updates & More New Projects…

So, given the delay of “40 Miles” until next year (see my last post), it’s given me a couple extra months to develop a few new projects that I’ve had in mind for quite some time, and focus more on a few that I have been developing for more than a year, including one of my TV shows which I’ve been developing at a studio for about 10 months now, and has now been setup at a Beverly Hills based agency to be packaged and presented back to the networks here shortly.  Also, at the request of an exec at the same studio, I’ve begun writing two more pilots for two additional original scripted series.  I’m glad they’re excited, we’ll see where they go.

On the film front I also have several new developments.  I’ve begun taking several of my other projects to a couple A-Lister’s in town to see if there’s any interest/attachments that can be made to help fast-track one or more of them into production next year as well.  I’ve also begun developing two more feature screenplays, including an epic Sci-Fi gem, and a 1900’s period piece which caught my attention about a month ago that I’m getting really excited about.  Before I can really get started on those though I’m still working through “The Hotel” (my feature musical screenplay) which is getting ever closer to completion, but is still not quite there yet. I love to dabble in multiple stories/genres at once (switch back and forth) as it gives my brain a break from just being stuck in one “mode” for weeks or even months at a time from a writing perspective. So while I’m still very much writing “The Hotel” I’m also doing research on both my other projects in between writing spurts (well, and all my other daily responsibilities, such as producing other projects, running a company, paying the bills, you know, all those little details).

In addition to all that… I’ll also now be shooting a wonderful little short film of mine in December (in Cincinnati) titled “For Today”, with several of my same “40 Miles” cast/crew , which should just be a blast.  More on this in my next post.

Hollywood Patience, My Friends…

There’s some very strong truths to the saying “Good things come to those who wait”.  As fast as things move and change in this industry, it’s funny sometimes how hard it can be to just sit back and be patient.  And in Hollywood, patience has a whole new meaning.

Now, before I go on here, it’s important to understand something about me… I’m a “doer”, no matter how difficult the task or how unlikely the odds, I’m the kind of person that once I’m passionate about something, I’ll set my mind to it and drive full steam ahead until I accomplish my goal, no matter how hard the task or how long it takes.  That said, since my move to LA, this industry has been giving me an extended lesson in patience. With as much as has been going on in my life over the past year, and how busy I seem to always be (I pulled another 23 hour day yesterday, the second such back-to-back day this week, and won’t likely be the last) there are even more, bigger things on the horizon, some of which have been in the works for more than a year.  Now, I’d generally consider myself a pretty patient person, but even the most patient of people can get frustrated or even give up after months or even years of “imminent” possibilities, waiting for that phone call that you know is coming, but you don’t know when, could be tomorrow, could be three years from now.   I found that most people who are new to this industry just don’t seem to understand (as I didn’t prior to jumping head-long into this biz), its that in Hollywood patience has a whole new meaning… here, patience can often mean years of waiting, whether it be for a deal to make that next big project, or even simply waiting to hear word on whether or not that 15th draft you sent back to the studio for notes (after 8-months of back and forth) is finally the one they like.

Now, it would be unfair for me to write about “Hollywood Patience” without mentioning this: I’ve worked very hard and I’ve had the incredible support of many wonderful people which has made me EXTREMELY fortunate to be in a position which countless industry folk have told me is some 10+ years ahead of where I should be at my age, but even so, that doesn’t make the waiting any easier.  Sometimes you just have to tell yourself that whenever that call comes, it comes. Until then, keep busy and no matter what, never stop working toward your goal. When that call does eventually come, you need to be ready, but even more so, when the call comes, understand that no matter how long you’ve waited, the answer could still be “no”.  Deals fall through, people change their minds, life happens… and happens more frequently than anyone would like.  Don’t wait around hoping to get an answer on just one project, instead, get a dozen more out there in the meantime, you’ve got the time, there’s no reason not to.

All that just to say, if you’re reading this and are to take anything from it, I’d hope it would be this: First is that patience is a universal necessity, and a quality you MUST have to succeed in this business, and Second, patience is NOT the same a laziness… you’ll always be waiting for something, what you choose to do with the time while you’re waiting can and often will make the difference between getting that “Yes” or “No” answer when the call does finally come.  Last but not least, Third, never forget that there will be 1,000 “No’s” to every 1 “Yes”, so don’t be discouraged from getting “no” after “no”, it only takes one “yes” for everything to change.  In this industry, the people who persevere, prosper. Never forget it.

Feature Cast Call…

Hey guys… so, we’re starting the casting stage for the first of several feature projects here.  I’ve included below a copy of the Casting Call/Notice that is going out in the midwest right now, note that we’re only casting locally at this point, but will likely expand to a nation-wide call here in the next few weeks.



Los Angeles-based production company Star Com Productions, LLC is announcing an OPEN CAST CALL.

Star Com is looking for NEW FACES (preferably non-union), based in the greater Cincinnati/Tri-State area for their upcoming feature film “40 Miles” which will be filmed on location in Cincinnati, Ohio (and the surrounding region) this summer, and will be released nation-wide next year. Star Com is accepting SUBMISSIONS only at this time for Lead/Principle, Supporting, and Featured roles, if the casting team decides you may fit what the production is looking for you will be contacted with additional information and to schedule a formal audition. If you fit one of the roles below please E-Mail a CURRENT headshot and acting resume ONLY (with Measurements, Phone, E-Mail and current Permanent Address) to the e-mail address listed at the bottom of this notice – include in the SUBJECT line of your e-mail “40 Miles Casting – [Name of Role(s) Submitting For]”. Please do NOT submit if you do not specifically fit one or more of the roles listed below, and do not call in or physically mail any materials to us, due to the high volume of submissions we receive, any such inquiries will be ignored. This specific casting call is for residents of the Greater Cincinnati/Tri-State Region only, do not submit if you do not currently reside in this region, and/or cannot be in this region for a formal (in person) audition on short notice. **If you are based outside of this region (including LA/NY) DO NOT submit to this call! A national call will take place at a later date.** While prior acting experience is greatly appreciated, it is not required, however, a high level of professionalism is a must. All roles are paid standard rates.

–Project Details–
Title: “40 Miles”
Description: Current Day Post-Apocalyptic Thriller in the vein of “28 Days Later” (though this is not a zombie film)

(do not submit if you do not fit one of these descriptions)

JEN – 16-17, Female, Caucasian, slim, no taller than 5’10
LIAM – 35, Male, Caucasian or African American (IE Jeremy Renner or similar type look/build)
KAREN – 35-39, Female, Caucasian, Jen’s Mother (IE Jodie Foster, Jennifer Morrison or similar type look/build)

NATE – 28, Male, Caucasian or African American, Male Nurse
SAM – 25, Female, Caucasian, college-educated “Blond Bombshell”
JOSS – 32, Male, Caucasian, waiter at a classy restaurant
ED – 55, Male, Caucasian or African American, trade/office technician, not “fit”
JOEY – 24, Male, Any Ethnicity, slim, not muscular

RANDY – 17-19, Male, Caucasian, Jen’s Boyfriend (average build, no body-builders, no 22+ year-olds please)
LYN – 45-55, Female, Any Ethnicity
MAGGIE – 3, Female, Caucasian
CASSIE – 13, Female, Caucasian
TYLER – 10-11, Male, Caucasian
DARREN – 38-42, Male, Caucasian, Jen’s Father

If you fit one or more of the above roles please E-MAIL “CASTING@STARCOMPRODUCTIONS.NET” a current headshot and resume ONLY (with Measurements, Phone, E-Mail and current Permanent Address) – include in the SUBJECT line of your e-mail “40 Miles Casting – [Name of Role(s) Submitting For]”.

**Parents must submit on behalf of anyone under the age of 18**

LA at the Speed of Lightning…

This post is intended for those non-Los Angelino, non-industry folk out there.  You may have heard that (compared to life in the Midwest) or really any non-major city, life in Los Angeles, and in the film and entertainment industries in general, move at the speed of lightning.  There’s something to be said about the need to live in a city like LA to actually truly get anywhere as an aspiring artist.  SO much can happen in a day, a week, in LA that it’s honestly just hard to even comprehend it if you’ve never lived here or actually worked daily in the biz.  I meet new crazy awesome people every day, work on different shows, develop new projects, new prospects with new and old friends and co-workers.  The crazy thing is that a great deal of amazing things happen here (seemingly) completely on a whim.  I get phone calls (or texts) every week from different people, writers, producers, whatever saying “lets meet up in 20min…” and we start a new project, or they bring me on for some new thing they’re already working on.  Deals are made here in minutes, not weeks, not years. Deals are measured in projects, not time-frames.  If I say no to a random spur of the moment meeting, I may never know what I missed out on (could be nothing, or could be a career-changing opportunity).  The fact is, as much as this industry likes to tout it’s “rules” and the “do’s and don’t” of what it takes to “climb” the so-called ladder to get where you want to be in the industry… the true fact is that (at least in my experience) the single most wonderful thing about this industry is that there really are NO rules.   Studios and agents and marketing companies want you to THINK there are rules, but when the rubber meets the road, anything is possible, it’s just a matter of who you know, and who you meet that can make it all possible.  Just about everyone who’s ever made it “big” in this industry (regardless of their profession or current title) has some crazy (or wildly simple) story to tell as to how they got there.  I can’t tell you how many times people told me that they “just met this one guy a few years ago and everything changed… that’s how I got to where I am now”.  Even people who started out in the mail-rooms at studios (and are now major executives) have similar stories, for at least one I’ve meet, it took less than 5 years to get there.  It’s always a struggle in the beginning, and its rarely “quick”… most if not all of the stories I hear (and am personally experiencing) are stories of broke, struggling artists who refuse to let go of their passions, through the years of living with little to nothing, and one day, everything just started to change.   To make this very clear, there may be the amazing “miracle” stories out there, but most of these “miracle” success stories in this biz (and most of the stories people won’t tell you) started out with years of long hard work… the fact is, just to say it bluntly… there are hundreds of thousands of people who want to “make it big” in this industry, and 98% of them never will.  As fast and as tough as this business can be, through it all it’s the people who are 100% passionate and 500% dedicated that succeed… and I don’t mean “Strike it rich”, or become famous… far from it, I mean those are the people who become  working members of this industry, the people everyone looks up to, the people everyone trusts, everyone first call’s when a new opportunity arises and in the end, some are the people you may eventually recognize in the credits of all those movies and shows you see every year.

Passion, complete dedication, and personality are what set apart the “wannabe’s” from the success stories.  Don’t forget there’s always a thousand other people just waiting in line to take your place, so be yourself, go above and beyond the call on every job, and don’t ever give someone a reason to think twice about you or your work and you’ll always be the first one they call.

This city, this industry moves at the speed of light, if you blink you may miss your opportunity, if you’re not here, you may never get one, but most of all, if you half-ass anything, people will know it.  It’s 100% all the time or nothing. Take it or leave it.  I can’t tell you how many times I hear about would-be actors or directors, writers, musicians or whatnot, whomever, moving out here expecting to “make it big” or “be a star” only to move back home to the “comfortable” Midwest to live with their parents after just a few months or even a few years because they “ran out of money” or it was just simply “too hard”.  You can’t forget that working in entertainment is a JOB, it’s long, hard work, and rarely pays well (sometimes, not at all). This industry has a way of weeding people out, but it’s not through some secret program and it’s usually even less about talent… true passion,  honest personality, and complete perseverance is where it starts and the lack thereof is exactly where it ends.

I may not be an expert on the matter, I am still, and always will be learning… but if there’s one thing I’ve experienced and truly taken to heart over the past several years, it’s that.

Blog Back Live…

So, as most of you probably noticed, I’ve have some server-issues which resulted in my blog being down for the better part of the past 6-months.  I’m now on a new host and everything is back up and running!  There’s SO much to cover, lots and lots of exciting new things in the works since I last posted back in October… I’ve added several new posts to catch up for lost time already, so check those out, and since we’re going into pre-production on my feature here very soon, I’ll have a LOT more to share in the coming weeks and months!  The blog is back, so stay tuned!  (to catch up, the new posts start in Dec 09, just scroll down).



Screenwriting and Music…

Question: Do you listen to music when you’re writing? Do you think it can help or hinder the creative process?

Ok, so I’m in the middle of writing this crazy SciFi feature which I was just notified of a few days ago, and started writing promptly thereafter (which I have about 9 days to finish) and I ran across this little gem of a question which I wanted to answer right away (which also gives me another excuse to procrastinate more). To put it simply, YES. I definitely listen to music both while I’m writing and while I’m conceptualizing a story. Music is a BIG part of my life, I listen to all kinds of music from rock to pop, classical, and TONS of movie soundtracks. To be honest, I’m a little bit of a sucker when it comes to quality film scores of all types.

When it comes to the relationship between music and writing, at least for me, I often find myself flipping through hundreds if not thousands of songs while conceptualizing a story and actually building a playlist of sorts of music which both moves and inspires me that I feel relates to the story I’m trying to tell. One thing I love about film scores is that the best of them are written for an emotional mood or specific character moment within a film, which, unlike classical music, or most music with lyrics (at least for me) truly speaks to me when I find just the right track for just the right moment in the story I’m trying to write. If you were to sit in the room with me while I’m writing (which would be terribly distracting by the way, and would never happen) you’d find that I’ll often put a specific track (or tracks) on repeat while working through and writing (or conceptualizing) a specific scene where I’m trying to portray a specific emotion or event. This would probably drive you nuts if you were sitting in the room with me since you’d have no clue what is going through my mind, but to me, when I hit just the right line of dialogue or just the right moment and read it back to myself with the music playing, I can tell it’s just right. I’ll admit, I’ve spent hours, even weeks compiling just the right set of songs to “write to” (and they are often a combination of genres that each speak to different characters, emotions, or moments in the story… rock for action moments, strings for heavy drama, or exact opposites when the scene calls for it) I try to mix it up as much as possible, depending on the film I’m trying to write. I often find I focus on one musical “sound” for each film.

One other note of interest here is that since I also direct most of the screenplays I write, so the music I listen to while writing then often becomes the “temp track” of the score for the film during post-production, since I know the music fits the mood of what I was aiming for precisely. Then the final original score of the film is written based off of the same temp music which I send to the composer with the cut of the film, so he can see (generally) what I’m looking for musically in each moment. Again, the music in the final film is NOT the music I listened to while writing, it is completely original, written for the film, but it is often based off of my initial tracks.

So, all that just to say, YES, music plays a huge role in the writing process for me, and often finding the right music can mean the difference between writing a crappy and/or bland moment or a truly moving one. It honestly has less to do with the specific music I choose and more to do with how the music affects me emotionally; it puts me in the mood to write what my characters are feeling.

The LA Move…

Ok… so it’s been a while here, my apologies… there’s been both way too much going on and a lot of nothing. Let me explain, since the film fest at the end of July I’ve been packing up for the move out west and dealing with all the fun details that come with it… including the financial annoyances (ie: cost of moving) and all the details that come with not only moving myself, but also transferring our main production office as well. Basically, due to all the crazy projects I’ve got in the tubes both personally, and through my production company (Star Com Productions LLC) I felt it was time to make the move out west, but not only myself, but for the company’s main office as well. Now, don’t get me wrong, we’re not a huge company, and a lot of what we do can be done from home-offices, but the fact of the matter is, changing everything (and moving everyone) from one coast to the other is a heck of an undertaking and so while I’ve now been living in Los Angeles for about 3 weeks, it’s taken me until now to get things situated to the point of getting back to the fun world of “internetz”.

Before I get into some brief updates on ongoing film/event projects I just want to clear up one important question I’ve been asked rather frequently recently regarding the move and my continuing relationship with the Oxford International Film Festival. Yes, I know live primarily in Los Angeles, but I am continuing to work with the festival on a regular basis. A good friend of mine and a long-time supporter of the festival, Eric Chatterjee, has been very gracious in accepting the reigns as the new “Executive Director” of the festival starting in 2010, and is now handling all the day-to-day operations and planning. I’ve taken on the new position as the festival’s “Producer”. Basically what that means is that I still have the final say in most festival matters, including programming, but I’m no longer the day-to-day person. Due to the crazy amount of work involved in putting on the festival every year I felt it necessary to hand over a considerable amount of the yearly work load to someone new, not only because I’m no longer directly local (you’ll find that I’ll still be in Ohio rather frequently through – we still plan to shoot most of our productions there) but also to allow me to have more time to focus on Star Com, our ever-growing slate of films, tv projects, and concerts (not to mention my own Directing endeavors). So there you have it… no worries about the fest! I’m still a major player in the festival, but I’ve intentionally passed on the “Executive Director” title and daily duties.

That said though, we’re now all setup here in LA and getting right back into the game head-first. So, a brief update on some projects that I’ve got in the works: The “In Dreams” (formerly titled “Slipping Away”) feature is still very much alive and kicking, indie financing in this economy to be honest just plain sucks… I’m actively in talks with a couple different backers and we’re still pushing ahead, though we have not yet set production dates, and yes, we still have some VERY interesting actors in talks.

Ok, on to some NEW stuff… I’ve recently been asked to develop and write a network tv/family drama for a Disney starlet which would basically start as an online “webisode” series and then make the transition to one of 3 networks. I finished the pilot script a few weeks ago, which everyone very much liked, so like everything else, now it’s basically just a waiting game to see what the producer/studio/sponsors decide to do next. I’ve also been asked just last week to write and direct a low-budget SciFi/Thriller aimed as a SyFy channel original movie, which, I’ll be honest, I was a bit hesitant to do originally, but now I’m getting very excited about the more I think about it and continue to develop the story. We’re still very much in negotiations about it (again, like everything in this biz.. you never REALLY know if anything will ever happen until it’s finished) but I’m happy with where it’s going and really starting to get to know and like the producer (which is a good sign).
Hum… I think that’s about it for now… lots of other random things in the works, but not too much far enough along yet to really mention, but I’ll certainly let you all know if/when things start to progress, the great thing about LA (and this industry in general) is that things move SO fast (and, ironically, often SO slow) that predictability and planning is often all but irrelevant, but hey, that’s half the fun of it. 🙂

More soon.


OIFF Promos & Music Vid…

While I may not be producing another film until the feature later this year, I have been and will be writing/directing/producing several promos for the Oxford International Film Festival which will be released online every few weeks from now until the festival in July. We’ll be switching off posting one of mine a few promos by other director friends of mine throughout the coming months. The promos for the 09 fest can be found here: www.youtube.com/oxfordfilmfestival other new promos will also be posted on the festival’s Official Website, MySpace page, Facebook page, and of course on the fest’s YouTube page. You can actually submit your own promo for the fest by going here: www.oxfordfilms.com/promo/

I’ll also be directing a music video for a new band called Above Only here coming up in June. The song is “Hear Me” which is featured on their debut EP. This is a thoroughly impressive band that’s going to be huge here in the next few years, so stay tuned, I’ll let you know when we get the video finished and out to the world.

So, check out all these new vids, rate them, comment, and have some fun. I’ll be doing some other fun little side-projects over the next few months which I’ll cue you in on latter, but will hopefully hold you all over until the feature comes out sometime next year. Peace.

Twitter and another screening…

Ok, so after much deliberation and procrastination, I finally caved and joined “Twitter” yesterday, (as if I didn’t already have enough to do 🙂 that said though, you can follow my spontaneous and somewhat random updates at www.twitter.com/jcschroder. I will still be posting my regular blogs.

Also, another screening to announce: The “final cut” of The End of All Things will have its regional debut this SUNDAY, April 19th at 7:00pm at the KNOW THEATRE (1120 Jackson Street, Cincinnati, OH, 45202) as a part of Underneath Cincinnati, featuring a number of shorts by local filmmakers. Tickets are $7 public/ $5 students for the whole program. I plan to attend, so stop in, say “Hi”, see the FINAL cut of the film, meet some other filmmakers, and have some fun! For questions/times/tickets contact the theater directly at: (513) 300-5669 – See you there!

Life Lessons I Learned From the Movies: More Bullets…

Ok… so while this may be a given at this point in movie history, it’s good to know that all guns on earth (and apparently in space and even in parallel universes as well) have unlimited ammunition. I was almost concerned there for a minute. I could easily list a couple hundred movies here, but I’m not going to, because honestly that would be a significant waste of both my and your time (should you actually decide to read the list I’m not posting). I’m a huge fan of “realism,” and while I respect the need of movies like “Rambo” that require a certain “un-countable” number of rounds in each weapon, at some point I really start to wonder if they missed the point… or maybe just shot it so many times that it’s unrecognizable. The fact is, guns that have a limited number of bullets actually create a great edge-of-your seat experience, a certain danger that is simply not present when a hero (or villain) has unlimited rounds… you know they will have to run out eventually, and therefore it becomes more a test of skill, intellect, and sheer courage instead of irrelevant noise. Now, again, this is only my opinion, and I do tend to enjoy most movies with lots of guns, but still, it does make me wonder if we’ve gotten to the point with audiences now where people are more distracted with counting how many bullets a guy fired, instead of actually paying attention to (or even enjoying) what’s happening on screen. Food for thought.