Sunday, December 17, 2023


As we head into the holidays, it got me thinking -- as a Hollywood denizen and lover of all things Christmas -- what I'm truly grateful for. Here's my top 10 list for 2023...

1) That I still say "Merry Christmas" and haven't been cancelled by the PC police.

2) My clients who continue to find value in my opinions, knowledge and abilities, even if they're often paying me to tell them how much I disagree with them.

3) No-shell chili roasted pistachios.

4) Netflix for helping me find "Suits" four years after it finished it's run. (Harvey Specter, you're my hero.)

5) My wife for all the nonsense she puts up with, including (but not limited to) pulling the bed covers off her in the morning when she's already cold, beating up her Boo slippers, and telling her a food item is not spicy when it is and then watching her go into a full bore panic after she eats it.

6) Passing my first colonoscopy exam with flying colors, even if the anesthesia ran me two bills.

7) The Philadelphia Eagles for giving me yet another season where we might almost win a Super Bowl.

8) The Good Lord for taking my ailing father to a better place and giving my mother the strength to start a new chapter of her life without him.

9) Stock market dividends.

10) Cinephiles who shell out their hard-earned money to watch the content I create, and moreover, reach out to me with kind words about how inspired they now are to create their own content.

Thanks for reading. See you in the new year! Merry Christmas! :)

Sunday, October 8, 2023

Today, I want to share some passing thoughts about the strikes that have hammered our industry this year. Not all of these ideas are going to be the most popular, but they've been weighing on me, and I feel they need to be said. So this might be as much for me to vent as it is for you to read.

- Yes, streaming has significantly changed our industry, and writers and actors deserve a reasonable share of the revenues based on their creative contributions. But blaming all AMPTP companies for obscuring the data that allows for successful decision-making and project greenlighting is unfair considering most studios and networks have been very open throughout their existence about releasing box office figures, program ratings, and other key metrics. In other words, pure streamers like Netflix bare most of the responsibility for obscuring transparency.

- There's something laughable about multi-millionaire actors calling multi-millionaire studio heads "greedy." Just like stars, top execs (like Bob Iger, for instance) are paid enormous sums because of the money they are able to bring in -- their leadership leads to billions of dollars in returns for shareholders, making them worth their high salaries.

- AI is a legitimate issue in the entertainment industry, but overhyped concerns about a Terminator-style coup that will destroy humanity is a page out of Hollywood's fantasy playbook. AI will have its uses if we reign it in and use common sense in its applications. It should be a resource to help humanity do things better, not a replacement for what we already do. Creative work has heart and soul and intangibles like emotional intelligence that the best AI just can't replicate (yet). Plus, courts have already ruled AI can't own intellectual copyright, so the original creator of the source material the AI is using to generate new work is still considered the author for legal purposes, as it should be. AI is not going away, so let's figure out how to use it to our advantage.

- SAG is crying that they need an 11% increase in wages to keep pace with raging inflation. Ironic though how such a rabid "progressive" organization as SAG admits no responsibility for helping create the wretched economy we're all suffering through now by their support of left-wing policies (like printing more money to fund endless spending bills) and their endorsement of Democratic politicians like Joe Biden and Chuck Schumer who have caused the inflation we're experiencing in the first place.

- Actors and writers need to make a living wage. But mandating productions hire a certain number of actors or writers for a certain number of weeks is Marxian at its core, playing on the idea that the studios are greedy capitalists who are oppressing the "working man" unless they acquiesce to untenable union demands for minimum guarantees. Of course this is nonsense. Acting and writing are skills, and like any job, only the most skilled will be hired. If too many actors or writers can't find work, perhaps it's because there are TOO MANY actors and writers. Just wanting to be an actor or writer doesn't mean others have to hire you. Studios will hire people for roles based on their needs -- which projects they want to greenlight based on things like audience and budget, and what the staffing needs of those projects are.

- It's easy for multi-millionaire actresses to post videos telling the membership to "stay strong" and "don't give in to the studios" and "keep marching" on those picket lines. Why? Because one of their residual checks is more than most of their colleagues will make in a year. And whether scale rates go up 5% or 11% won't affect a $10-million-per-picture star one iota. It's easy to virtue signal when you have no real skin in the game. But it sure makes you look like a "good guy."

- Strikes certainly have their place. But the fact that the majority of outspoken individuals, publications and organizations have demonized the same studios they count on for their business while heralding the supposedly arduous plight of the unions shows a lack of understanding of both sides of the issue and belies the notion that such people have ever run their own business before, had to make a payroll or had to show their investors a solid ROI.

- The industry is going to face some significant changes as a result of this strike, from how it measures and reports the success of streaming programs to the further consolidation of studios and platforms to the number of people a production will hire (paying significantly higher wages to writers means less writers will get hired). One thing we can all count on, though, is that the end of the strikes don't simply signal that everything has been figured out, but rather that many more changes are coming. And soon. 


Sunday, July 30, 2023

Dear Readers,

I thought it might be a nice time to share some recently published articles that I either wrote or that were written about me and my work.

1) My article "6 Online Resources to Help Get Your Screenplay Seen" was recently published on C. Hope Clark's Funds for Writers, a website with 27,000 subscribers that seeks to help writers make money from their craft. Some of you may find it useful...

2) My project "Will to Win," adapted from Jim Stovall's book of the same name, was recently written up in Variety when producer Jhane Myers joined as an EP. Jhane recently produced the hit Hulu movie "Prey." Trying to get this one in production next spring...

3) Those who know my proclivity for the outdoors may also know that I enjoy writing about travel, fitness, hiking and points of interest. In that vein, Outdoor Socal recently published my "glamping guide" for the town of Ojai, a cool little spot about half an hour south of Santa Barbara. Check this one out if you love the outdoors, but still want that touch of "luxury" while you experience it...

More to come soon!


Saturday, June 24, 2023


Thought it was time for a little status update on some of my pet projects in development:

American Saviors: A "dark road trip buddy action comedy" script written by the talented yet undiscovered Jim Christell. We secured a coordinator at WME to help us attach the right director to the project. With the writers' strike going on and a potential actors' strike to follow, we hope to land someone in this position quickly followed by notable cast as we seek to capitalize on a lack of competition in the marketplace. (Side note: Jim has been prolific lately. He also finished his fantasy period drama Between the Stairs and we've started developing a new comedy show called Del Rey Park.)

Worth the Fight: We locked 9-1-1 star Oliver Stark in the lead role. He read the script right away and loved it. Nice validation for the years of development we put into it. We have also secured a coordinator at UTA, who I hope can help us package other stars alongside Oliver. Director is Sean McNamara (of Soul Surfer fame).

Will to Win: This adaptation of a Jim Stovall book of the same name centers on a Native American high school girl who seeks help from her spirit guide, Will Rogers, when she makes the boys' baseball team. Prey producer Jhane Myers just signed on as an EP and is helping us take the project to talent and studios. Here's an article about it that was recently posted in Variety:

The Pillars of Dawn: My very talented writing client, Athena, wrote the TV adaptation of her own novel series, which we have recently been developing with the help of writer/producer Kamran Pasha (Sleeper Cell, Nikita). Numerous actors have expressed interest or attached themselves, too, including Erica Cerra, Arnas Fedaravičius, Benjamin Stone and Phaedra Nielson, with Jane Seymour circling. We put together a sizzle that I think does a great job teasing the story, the tone and the world:

Icon: My newest client, James Jimenez, has been working on his own script about a rock star who goes missing and the wife who seems to be the local sheriff's number one suspect. Our goal is to have this one ready to shop by year's end.

More to come as I work to bring these and other projects to fruition.

Sunday, March 5, 2023

Budgeting Your Film -- A Few Tips and Tricks

How do you secure financing for your independent film if you don't really know what it will cost to make? Having an accurate budget is paramount to the fundraising process. You need to have a document you can explain, defend and feel confident about as you enter the pre-production process.

I recently published an article on Medium called "10 Insider Tips for Film Production Budgeting," which provides some useful insights into the film budgeting process that will help you elevate your budgeting game. I'll summarize them here for you, but you should go to the full article for further details on each.

1) Run a breakdown and schedule first so you can base your numbers off of them.

2) Utilize software that can track actuals if you can't afford additional accounting software.

3) In addition to the contingency, always pad up certain areas of your budget for extra protection.

4) Create a "notes" section to help summarize the key elements the budget covers (or doesn't cover).

5) Use "globals" when possible to make future changes easier.

6) Research crew and vendor rates from reliable sources.

7) Know a few key percentage "rules of thumb."

8) Only share the budget top sheet with third parties unless the full budget is requested.

9) Tax incentives have nothing to do with budgeting, so don't confuse them!

10) Learn what is and is not included in a picture's negative cost.

You can read the full article here: