Production Diary Volume One

A column article by: Ace Masters

As promised in the "A State of the Burning Mind Address" column, this is the first column in what will be my monthly Production Diary column.

In this column I will not only cover projects I have in development (planning stages), pre-production and current in production (in the works), but I will cover finished, in-the-can projects as I try to get them out to the public.

I will also cover something else: submission packets I put together to send out to comic book publishers, publishers, agents, producers and more.

I am doing this because I want to chronicle my own steps in implementing what I advise readers of the Burning Mind to do. Hopefully this will pay off.

The projects will be listed as followed: Completed, In Production, In Pre-Production and Development. I am using industry terms to make this smoother. Two other listings will be Submissions and Business Plans.



There is only one completed projected to list at the moment and that is my short film, Did I Do Good.

Did I Do Good is an original, four minute, gritty, dark thriller about a homicide detective who confronts a homeless man in an alley over recent events – with shocking results.

Did I Do Good served as my directorial debut as I wrote, produced and directed the short. It was co-produced along with my business partner Dave Parrish and starred awesome Arizona based actors Greg Bronson as the Homeless Man and Bobby Minch as the Cop.

Currently Did I Do Good is submitted out to numerous film festivals and we are only awaiting word as to which festivals will accept the short for screening. The submission process for submitting to festivals was planned out meticulously as was the actually production of the short.

After a lot of research on line, in film journals, directories and the Oscars website, we decided on a plan of attack. First, the short was submitted to ALL Academy qualifying festivals. This means that if it does well (or wins) at one of these festivals, it can become eligible for nomination for an Oscar.

From there we decided to submit to the largest and most prestigious festivals that are not Academy qualifiers. Eventually we worked our way down to regional film festivals in Arizona and the Southwest.

The other thing that had to be taken into account is the focus of the film festival you want to submit to. You cannot submit scattershot. Many festivals do not accept certain genres (action, horror, fantasy, sci-fi, thriller) and do have guidelines concerning length. Did I Do Good was not a good fit for a good amount of festivals, because of the genre. It really wouldn't do very good to send a gritty, dark thriller to a festival that only screens family films or children's fare.

So, a plan was drawn up that maximized where to submit the short. That plan has been followed and Did I Do Good has been submitted to 37 film festivals. Now it is just a waiting game.

You can check out Did I Do Good online at IMDB and Facebook.



The Burning Mind column: This is my main writing focus for the moment, so it should be listed here as it an ongoing 'in-production' project on a weekly basis - even if I am a few weeks ahead of schedule!

I have one comic book project currently in production, with fifteen of twenty-five pages of art completed. This project is the one-shot fantasy story Dragon's Spear. Dragon's Spear is the story of a lone, aging knight who rides out to fight a dragon terrorizing the kingdom. The artwork is by my friend and artist Malacai.

Dragon's Spear is being produced for submission out to the industry, and hopefully someone will pick it up.

Dragon's Spear is actually a prequel to a much longer story called War Spear, which will go into production once Dragon's Spear is completed. War Spear will chronicle a war that breaks out between dragons and human, and a dragon civil war, after the events of Dragon's Spear.

You can check out some art from the title on Malacai's Facebook page.



I have two comic book projects that I am currently writing, with artists tentatively attached. They are the graphic novel Down the Road, Salvation and the stand-alone one-shot Only the Dead Are Free.

More on these later.

Business Plans:

While I won't go into too much detail at the moment, I am currently working on business plans of my own: for comics, films and a couple of other ideas. Currently my focus is on business plans to raise money for short films and a few low budget features I have written.

I will NOT post these business plans on-line, however I will chronicle the evolution of these plans in future Production Diaries.

With next month's Diary, I will give more detail on these plans.

That is it for Production Diary Volume One.

Until next week . . . Have fun.


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