Friday, November 18, 2011

From "The Song" Playlist: Joe Pug - "Nation of Heat"

Another video via LaundroMatinee. Love this guy's voice. The question of "Who does he remind me of?" is quickly answered. In fact, you probably won't have time to even ask it. Lyrics like, "If I didn't own boots, I wouldn't need feet?" Harmonica holder? As they say, "Bad artists copy. Great artists steal." And, if you're going to steal, steal from the best.

Another great thing:  It's hard steal from a guy as generous as Joe Pug. He's apparently found quite a bit of success can be had in giving music away for free. Devoted fans spread the word and go to shows. So, if you think he's is your friend.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

From "The Song" Playlist: Nicole Atkins - "My Baby Don't Lie"

I'm hoping to consistently feature artists that I've come to really enjoy while doing music and style research for "The Song." This video via LaundroMatinee features Nicole Atkins doing a stripped down version of "My Baby Don't Lie" from her classic/psychedelic rock-inspired album "Mondo Amore."

"The Song" - Screenwriter's iPod Playlist

I like to listen to music as I write. Not that that's rare or anything. But, for a music driven project like "The Song," it's particularly helpful. Through the writing process, I've developed a fluctuating iPod playlist. Some songs come and go as the story changes or as their novelty wears off and they no longer inspire the emotions and sensations that inspire. You know when you listen to a song so many times that you can't hear it anymore? Some songs have been on the list since I started. 

Anyway, below are snapshots of the playlist as it currently stands. Recommendations?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Life Project - Three Casts, One Story

As I've stated before, in order to reach as many people as possible, we decided to film the central piece of "The Life Project" with three different casts: African-American, Hispanic speaking Spanish, and Caucasian.

In the above video, the entire story plays out while featuring segments from all three casts.

To learn how you can help get "The Life Project" into thousands of crisis pregnancy centers, visit

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Life Project

Last year, I had the privilege of directing and writing what will hopefully be the first of many episodes in "The Life Project." From Shane Sooter's blog:
I’m thrilled to premiere these films, each designed to quickly reach the hearts of women facing a crisis pregnancy. Responding to advice of our pregnancy center partners, we crafted three versions of the same story – one with a Caucasian cast, one with an African American cast, and one with a Hispanic cast speaking Spanish. On a creative level, its fascinating to see the many subtle variations created by the different casts. But I hope that nuances like that are lost on you as you watch the first time. I hope that you are drawn into the story, that you are moved, and that you are eager to share this tool with others. Enjoy.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

"The Song" On Pinterest

A couple of months ago, my wife introduced me to It's basically a virtual cork board. You create different boards, and if you like a photo on the internet, you can "pin" it to your collection. At this point, my pinterest account is entirely dedicated to "The Song."

So far, I have set up boards for all the characters, and one of the major locations. When working in collaboration, it's important to be able to get images out of your head so that others can understand and add to them, and make composites of them. That way, over time, all the creatives for the film begin to see the same characters...and, thus, the same film.


The story takes us from Jed’s early twenties, when he’s a gifted, charismatic, optimistic, and wise-beyond-his-years aspiring singer-songwriter, to his early thirties, when he’s famous, burnt out, and world-weary. Basically, imagine someone who could write the contemporary equivalent of Song of Solomon at age 23 and the write Ecclesiastes at 33.

As I stated earlier, "The Avett Brothers" accounted for a substantial chunk of my iPod playlist while I was writing "The Song." To me, Scott Avett (above) is very Jed. His music has incredible depth...and, on stage, he's a hurricane of barely, but brilliantly controlled chaos.


Jed’s sweetheart and later wife.  She’s the radiant, lovely, intelligent, and innocent girl next door (if you lived on a picturesque farm) that your mom and the Bible told you should marry.

Finding pictures for this character has been tough.  In fact, I'm not even thrilled with the one I posted above.  Seeing as Rose is not a musician, there's not a famous person who comes to mind when I try to picture her.  So, I don't really know what or who to "Google" when searching for a picture that captures her essence.


This character on the other hand...well....I've found that my "villains" are often the most quick to mentally materialize for me.  Makes me want to do a film where the villain is the main character.

Shelby's the girl you wouldn’t take anywhere near your mom. One of Jed’s fellow musicians, she’s beautiful, brazen, and sultry. While the real Solomon was brought down by 700 wives and 300 concubines…well…Jed has Shelby.

I'm not in any way saying that Nicole Atkins (pictured above and whom I have never met) is personally like Shelby -just that she has a great look and style (fashion and music).  And, the audience response to her singing (at the 1:36 mark) in the below video is a striking testimony to her ability to captivate and enchant an audience...