Tag Archives: Acting

Interview by Film Courage with Bill Duke

Hey everyone, I am back.  I have been laying low for the last 4 1/2 months. A lot is going on with with me. I have lots of responsibilities now: I am leading a veterans mental health advocacy group, on the Board of Trustees for a veterans art center, my radio show, writing various things,  starting a new personal blog, returning to filmmaking, starting a film company, and returning and this blog.

Anyway, I am starting to watch Film Courage’s interviews again. If you are an actor, screenwriter or a filmmaker you need to watch Film Courage interviews. You will get so much out them. They have a YouTube channel and they post every week.

I have been watching an interview they recently did with the actor and director the great Bill Duke.  I think you will get  a lot out of it, so enjoy

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The year ahead 2017.

So I been thinking about what I want to accomplish year. This past year was not my been my strongest. I feel I failed in many ways. The film I am developing got put on hold, I was not committed to this blog like I should, I did not get my production company up and running and didn’t make much art. So I am not happy with myself.

That being said I want the this year to be amazing. Make the year a new start for me. I have given some thought to what I want to do and here is what I have so far: Grow personally. I am starting to work on improving me. My Health, my work and my personal life. I have started to get into Robin Sharma on how to become the best me I possible can be. I think that it doesn’t hurt to get into self improvement. God knows I need too.

This blog: Yes I used to write in this blog often, but have gotten away from it. I want to build this blog back up and turn it into a leading film blog. I want to share my journey as a filmmaker, artist and as a creative. Then there is giving you readers information you can use out there. Things I find. I also am going to have guest writers like Ken Anthony help provide content.  I will be shooting for over 200 post this. Ambitious yes., but I think you’ll all get a lot out of it. A few years ago Ted Hope had Hope for Film blog. I got so much out of it and learned a lot. I want to do the same thing with this blog for you.

Production Company: This is the year I officially start my production company. That means making it a legal entity. People will go around claiming they have a production company yet it is not a legal company; which means they do not really have a production company. Filmmaking is a business as well as an art form. When I think about projects I am thinking in two art forms: the art of telling a story visually and the art of business. It is important that you think this way. It helps give you realistic picture of what you can do when making your film.

Film Projects: Right now I have two film project: one is a short about a writer that is having an existential crisis who talks to the ghost of Jack Kerouac and my film dealing with sexual violence in the form of sex trafficking and combat veterans issues.  I took a long break from this project. I am now coming back to it. I have to finish researching it and then write. I will have a first draft in 4 months. After rewrites, I will then package the film and start looking for investors. I want to start shooting this film at around the end of this year. Now for the short, the goal is to shoot it in May. This gives us enough time to raise capital to shoot it, do perproduction and then shoot it. I will also be playing Jack Kerouac. I have already started to grow my hair out for the role and reading up on Jack. We will be submitting this film to Sundance, SXSW, TriBecca and TIFF. We have that kind of confidence in this film to submit it into those film festivals. We have a great screenplay and talented people working on it. One of them is Ken Anthony who will be a producer.

Advocacy: Another thing I will be doing is advocacy work. One of the reasons I am a filmmaker is that it allows me to talk about issues I care about. One of those issues is sexual violence. Now on 2011 I started on the feature, and I got very much side tracked, which I will be going into in the near future, and now I am back to working on it. Now the issue has evolved to sex trafficking which is  rape for profit and I get to discuss it. Same goes for combat veterans issues. We have been at war and it has taken its toll on many who fought in it. I already do veterans mental health advocacy work here in Tampa, and this film helps me further that discussion to even a larger crowd.

Film Society: Tampa needs a true film society. We have organizations that have film society in there name, yet they do not act like a real film society. They are more like AV clubs with a membership fee, they are not cultural institutions which film societies are suppose to be: They do not have programs that teach media literacy. They do not serve the public interest but only their own. Which is fine, but they are not true film societies.  This will be a 501 c3 non-profit organization. It will bring cinema appreciation to the people of the Bay Area. We will start programs that teach media literacy to children in schools.  We will celebrate cinema as a community. It will showcase filmmakers like Kurosawa, Hitchcock, Kubrick, Ford Coppola, Sergio Leone, Scorsese, Allen and many more.  It will have programs for filmmakers. It will celebrate independent cinema.

Become the Master of my Craft: I am going to learn and become an expert in filmmaking.
This is something I think we all should do. I have numerous books on filmmaking at every level. Thirtbooks.com is your friend. I have gotten many books on filmmaking from thriftbooks and and have been diving into them.  I want to know as much as I possible can for a few reasons: One to avert disaster, if you know how do something the right way you will be likely to make costly mistakes. Another reason is it helps you be a  better leader. If you have knowledge in a certain, you can speak and lead with authority. You can help other and give guidance. Most of all be helpful to others, and it is also about being a professional. Professionals know their craft and know it well. And of course it betters my chances of success.

I am looking for an editor. I think it would benefit me greatly.

And soon I am going to explain the events of February 2013 that had much to do with my film.

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Crowd Funding Advice.

From the founder of Seed&Spark CEO Emily Best Via Film Courage.

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You’re going to fail. Deal with it.


Yes, you are going to fail. And fail hard. I am going to fail, and fail hard. I am probably failing at grammar right now.  It is what you and I do with that failure is what is the difference between successful people and those who never rise above.  I have failed numerous times, yet here I am still working and moving forward. I have learned from those failures and make the best out of them.

If your parents never let you failed as a child they truly cheated you out of the best lesson they could given you.  If you are reading this, and you are reading and have kids, let them fail and fail hard.  Then turn around teach them that it it ok to fail. Teach them to get right back up, learn from their mistakes and try again but even harder. This, besides manners, is the greatest gifts you can give.

Here is the truth, I am a shitty ass artist. At least in my mind. Yet I am going back to making art once again. Hopefully I dig some of my work and maybe someone else will enjoy it, or at the very least, lie to me.  Yet I try and learn. One day I hope to make pieces that I will approve of and think it is good. As a filmmaker I have made numerous mistakes, but difference is I have learned from them, and it has made me a better filmmaker. I will fail again and again, and each time take that failure and grow.

Fail and fail hard. Then learn from it and go at  it again.





always try


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16 October 2012 Grey Room

Hello all,

I have some news about Grey Room.  As you may or not know we have had some problems getting our crowdfunding pitch video done. We have had audio issues with the first 3 attempts and finally yesterday we shot our 4th pitch and I know we got it. I will write more in detail about that however I, as the producer, take full responsibility for the delays and the pushing back of the dates.

Here is what is happening, we are pushing the crowdfunding campaign to 15 February 2013 and we begin shooting 13 April;  and here is why, we would have the pitch edited by Friday and then, depending if we need more editing, we would start next week.  Add 45 days of crowdfunding and that would bring us to the beginning of December; then 2 weeks of final per-production and then we would shoot. In the middle of December, and as you know Florida winters are unpredictable; it could be amazing gorgeous or it could be brutally cold.  We have a pool scene and we do not want our actresses freezing their asses off and possibly getting sick. It is just not worth it.  So what we have decided to push it back. However, this in many ways this is good; by the time the film is finished it will be time to be submitting film into the major film festivals.  Which is where we want to put Grey Room.




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Tampa Filmmakers Speaker Series is set to go.

It brings me great joy to announce that the Tampa Bay Filmmakers speaking Series has a lock down date, time and speaker, as well as a name for it, “Filmmakers Speak”

It is being presented by The Florida Motion Picture and Television Association, FMPTA Tampa Bay Chapter, and I will be your host. It will be on Saturday, March 24th at  10 am  at Keiser University, 5225 Memorial Hwy Tampa Fl 33634   This event is free and open to the public and will be live streamed.

We are honored to have as our first speaker Russell Hess.
Here is what Russell will be covering.
Some very important questions answered:

1. Packaging, what is it, is it important and why?
2. I’ve written one or more scripts, now what should I do?
3. Why can’t I raise money for my project?
4. Why you should NEVER lower your budget in an attempt to obtain production capital!
5. Can I arrange for a pre-distribution deal?
6. Is it possible to get movie stars in my film or documentary?
7. How will I know if my film can even qualify for a distribution deal?
(and when should I know this?)
8. What is the best kind of distribution deal to get and how soon can I get it?
9.Why do my films never get off the ground, completed, sold distributed
or make any money? (the answer is more simple than you think)
10. How can I have a better chance at getting into a film festival?
11. Which festivals are the best for my film?
12. Which distributors are the best for my film?
13. How can I create a “product” that will have distributors coming to ME?
Russell Hess has been in entertainment for over 25 years. From actor to producer and from sales agent to distributor, Hess has been responsible for independent film releases world-wide. The indie doc, “inGREEDients” helmed by Russell Hess saw a global release in over 70 countries and in 3 languages. Hess and his partners have developed a proprietary IPTV player similar to Netflix and Hulu. The platform will be for independent content only (for now). The big companies are already making the shift from DVD/BluRay and Hess’ company, Commodity Films, LLC is already moving in this direction.

Hess has connections with major and medium-sized companies and partners in various parts of the world for the releasing of any kind of title. Commodity Films operates an “all-digital” process from screening to release. The inventor of the IPTV player arranged a deal with Facebook so the titles can be viewed (and monetized) on the largest social network on the planet.

Executive Produced/Produced/Co-Produced nine successful feature films
• Co-Produced two Documentary films
• Designed and developed world-wide distribution models for documentary films
• Develops independent feature films from concept to release
• Forms strategic partnerships to create financially viable projects
• Creative visionary, show business consultant, innovator and inventor

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Need you suggestions

Hey all crowd sourcing time. I am trying to come with a name for the Filmmakers speaker series.  This will be a monthly engagement by local professional filmmakers covering a wide range of topics. Please send me suggestions.

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