Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Farewell 2013

This is it!  2013 is finished.  So of course, here is look back at my year…

It started with me hearing the words “Welcome to the Directors Guild of America!”  Such a great honor.  That was sadly followed a few months later by the loss of my mother.  Truly one of the hardest things I’ll ever have to cope with in my life.  

Now work-wise, it might seem like I didn’t work on as much as in previous years, but I grew a lot with my involvement in the productions I was part of.  Here is a list of that I worked on this year: 

“Dinner and a Movie” by Ron Isley – (St. Louis, MO) – Be Creative – Music Video – 1st AD          

Even & Odd – (Champaign, IL) – Shatterglass Studios/Pens to Lens Student Course – Short Film – 1st AD

The Historian – (Hattiesburg, MS) – Historia Films – Feature Film – 1st AD and Associate Producer            

Resale Royalty – (St. Louis, MO) – Cool Fire Productions/Style Network – Reality TV Program – PA

Double the Life – (St. Louis, MO) – ACE Films/Inspired Productions/Chris Chi – Feature Film – Producer

Emerson Electric – (St. Louis, MO) – Cap Gun Collective – Corporate Video – 1st AD          

The Origins of Wit & Humor – (Chicago, IL) –DimeStore Films/Shatterglass Studios –Feature Film – 1st AD

Sirens – (Chicago, IL) – FOX/USA Network – TV Program – Second Unit: 2nd AD  

Aside from these projects, I’ve also begun working more as a producer on several up-coming projects.  I’ve been meeting with a great team I look forward to be producing with, as well as having more meeting about other producing opportunities.  I also might get credited on a previous project I worked on as a producer on some level for helping them through the distribution process.  Big steps in this direction throughout 2013. 

Now, there was also one other major event that happened this year… I moved to Chicago, Illinois!  That’s right, I took a giant leap of faith and moved to a locale where I feel I will get more and better paying work.  It’s been slow, but I moved at the time of year where I get used to city and be ready for the new season to jump start in the spring.  

Well, that’s sums up 2013… I had a rough year with multiple challenges, but I have faith it will make 2014 that much stronger of year.  Thanks everyone for all your amazing love and support this year!  I look forward to seeing you on the other side!  Happy New Year!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

One Small Step… One Giant Leap!

Well, I promised you all my big news, so I guess I shouldn’t keep it from you any longer.  In order to keep working more and making more money in the film industry, I’ve decided to move to Chicago, IL for the next 18 months.  Now, I know I am one of the strongest proponents of staying to build an industry, but I must be honest with myself and seek more work and more profitable work.  I need to put my DGA card to use more.  Plus, I see so many others who come back to St. Louis and MO when the work does come, that I am not worried.  I will be close enough that I can easily come back for a short or long production.  And please also know that I plan to stay involved with St. Louis and Missouri Production organizations to help continue to build our industry up.  This move is only slated for 18 months, and I could very well be back in St. Louis full time after that.  Only time will tell.  Please know that St. Louis and Missouri are my beloved home and that will never change.  I’ll always rather work on St. Louis productions than anywhere else.  And when I finally get my own short underway, it too will be shot in St. Louis.  Don’t be surprised if you catch me over the next few weeks, the move will take several trips between STL and Chicago.  You know I will miss you all in St. Louis, so drop me a line anytime!  OK, back to packing.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

What a Year!

They say as we get older, we get wiser!  Well, my 37th year of life taught me a lot, showed me a lot and cost me a lot!

This past year cost me Three amazing people in my life.  A year ago at this exact time I lost a dear friend and colleague who probably taught me more about production than I even taught him.  Rest in Peace Matt Romano!  Next, about 8 months ago I lost an old friend from growing up.  I know we hadn’t been as close over these recent years, but shared so many memories.  I wish I could have been there more for him.  Rest In Peace Jereme Hartwig!  And finally, in March I had to say good bye to the most important women in my life, my mother.  It’s impossible to say good bye to one of your best friends, especially when she was the reason I am here in the first place.  She helped me grow into the man I am today and I hope I will continue to make her proud.  Rest In Peace Kathleen Ann Fries-Cabral, MOM!

This past year has shown me a lot!  I’ve had the great privilege of working on some great projects with some amazing people.  I’m about the start the 7th feature film project I’ve been able to work on since August 2012.  I’ve also worked on a few reality shows, commercials, and short films.  I’ve been fortunate enough to see production from just about every position, behind AND in front of the camera.  This year I even helped produced a feature film.  It had its problems, but I’m excited to see the outcome once post-production is finished.  On the other hand, a short film I helped produce last year, Solitaire, was selected to play at the Cannes Shorts Corner.   

Finally, life helped me realize my true potential.  Now I have some amazing, and mean AMAZING friends who regularly remind me of how much I am capable of achieving.  But two milestones stood out and shocked me.  Like a wakeup call that I am ready to climb to the next level.  First, just before my 37th birthday I was offered representation for my adventures in front of the camera and behind a microphone.  Of course, I accepted, and I am proudly represented by Mandi Morris and the Azalea Agency in St. Louis.   The second is probably one of the proudest moments of my life.  It culminated in January when, while my 14th year working for the Sundance Film Festival was getting under way, I was blessed to hear the words “Welcome to the Directors Guild of America”.  Yes, I am a qualified First Assistant Director in the DGA!  

Now, as I look forward, striving to improve myself is my primary goal.  These improvements include getting in shape, cleaning my house, revamping my website, looking for bigger films to work on, and even crossing that line and finally directing the short films I have been talking about for so long.  I will succeed and I look forward to sharing this success with all of you.  Thanks to each and every one of you has believed in me and helped me see my true potential. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Help Save Film Production in St. Louis & Missouri!

Actors, filmmakers, film lovers, and artists,

You can help bring a major feature film to St. Louis this year.  A FALL FROM GRACE has applied for a Missouri film tax credit, and this is critical in making certain the film is shot in St. Louis and not somewhere else.  It will bring millions of dollars into the St. Louis and Missouri economy, create jobs for local actors and film professionals, and showcase our city to millions of movie watchers, worldwide.  Please help by sending a polite message to Missouri governor Jay Nixon, on his web site, asking him to approve the tax credit for the film.  In the subject box, check "Economic Development."  Thank you!


The film is being directed by Jennifer Lynch and will star Vincent D'Onofrio, Tim Roth, Paz Vega, Willow Shields, and David Lynch

You can learn more about the film in the most recent news report below.  There is also a link to the trailer on the news report page:

This message was originally written by Michael Ketcher, but its importance was strong enough for me to repost it.  Please be sure to take a few minutes, Write Governor Nixon encouraging his support, and report it yourself to encourage AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE do the same!  Let's help support and save Film Production in St. Louis and Missouri!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Sundance 2013 Pre-Fest

It’s that time of year, when the air is cold and I head to what I have come to call My Summer Camp! That’s right!  I’m spending two weeks at the Sundance Film Festival.

I always head out a few days prior to the fest starting for my manager training.  Amongst all the training, I am able to catch up with friends I usually only see here and if my time allows, catch a volunteer screening or two.  This year I did get to see both Tuesday Night Volunteer screening.

The first screening was ‘Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes’ by Director/Screenwriter: Francesca Gregorini.  This was a narrative feature about a troubled young woman dealing with her own loss and struggles that clings to the troubled neighbor who just moved in, helping her deal with her own struggles.
The second screening was ‘Valentine Road’ by Director: Marta Cunningham.  This is a documentary about a young boy shot during school, how everyone reacted and the vastly different views about the entire situation from both sides.

I am planning on writing review for each film I screening and adding them either here or on a new film review site I will be launching soon.  If you all have a preference, please let me know.

For now, I’m off to get this party started! Check back for more updates!