UPDATE: Make sure to scroll to the bottom for an important update that I added just before posting this blog post… Then scroll back up and read the rest haha. Happy New Year!
As 2014 comes to a close, I figured this would be a good time to take a look back at what I accomplished. This is 2014 In Review.
The first and most obvious thing was the release of the music video for “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” and its fundraiser. We raised a lot of money that helped in getting the word out about the video, album and my music in general. The video itself got such great feedback from all across the internet. It premiered at the REEL Recovery Film Festival which was just perfect considering the subject matter of the video. People there really loved it which was a beautiful thing. It then went on to win Best Music Video at the Pollygrind Film Festival, where a year prior I won Best Experimental Music Video for my “Lights In The Sky” music video. Overall, we didn’t get into as many film festivals as we had hoped, but the feedback from the places it did play was all amazing and we still have some more we’re waiting on results from for next year.
While “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” was the big defining project of my career in 2014, I also did a lot of other great, exciting work. The first thing that comes to mind is all of my work with House of DON Productions and director Doug Farra. Aside from “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep,” Doug also directed “The Gradations of Purgatory,” “The Milkman,” and “Cho5en,” as well as some other smaller projects that I worked on. These three though were some of the coolest films I worked on this year and really gave me an opportunity to create some great music. I’ll be working on Doug’s first feature, “Finding The Truth” in 2015, as well as another music video for one of the songs on my second album.
I also worked on a couple of other great films from regular House of Don collaborators: Jeremy D Brooks’ “Jasper,” and Brian K Palmer’s “Spring Forward.” The premiere of “Jasper was a really fun night at the Vegas Indie Film Fest, and “Spring Forward” premiered at the Las Vegas Black Film Festival which was also a great time that I got to meet a lot of cool people at.
Speaking of film festivals, one of the most fun weeks of the year was my trip to FilmQuest at the Salt Lake City Fantasy Con. I posted a blog recap of the event where you can read all about the craziness that happened there. My music video “Broken Circuits,” was nominated for Best Music Video and the whole trip was just an amazing experience. Pollygrind was also a great time this year, as it always is. The festival organizer (and my buddy) Chad says that he may be taking a year off from Pollygrind, but I hope it comes back ASAP. It really is the most fun film festival ever.
I worked on a bunch of other great films this year too. “Pathos” from director Eduard Ospiov was entered in the Project Greenlight competition and made it to the second round. It was nice getting to work with some new people on that one. I also started the year off working at last minute with my friend David Michor on his short “The Hoarder” which ended up being one of my favorite scores I’ve done. I then ended up working with the DP from that film on my first 48-hour film competition with a film called “Dig.” It was a wild experience scoring a short film in one morning, but it came out pretty damn great.
There were also some various for-hire composing gigs I did this year. Not as many as 2013 to be honest, but I at least kept a solid momentum going. Hopefully that side of the career will pick up next year. In the meantime I did get more of my music accepted into some music libraries, so hopefully some of that stuff gains some traction.
Which brings me to album number two. I made some of the best music of my life this year. I didn’t expect to be ready to release a 2nd album so fast, but it is coming and it’s coming soon. The album is probably 90% done. Album title and album cover are set. Tracklist is set. Songs are basically done. Just gotta really sit with the album, make sure I’m happy with everything, and then master it. I’m expecting to release it in the first few months of 2015. The first music video off the album will be for the track “Dreams Like These” and will be online on New Years Eve.
And that leaves me at 2015. I am ready to work on some amazing new projects. I actually have 3 features I may be working on (as well as “Finding The Truth” which is already set). So right off the bat, I’m gonna be plenty busy. I also have some ideas for more music videos, and I’m hoping to make those happen. More jobs, more music, more everything. I can’t wait.
UPDATE: Well well well… Guess who forgot to post his 2014 Year In Review wrap-up before 2015 hit?!? Haha. So it’s the 1st… My new music video is out, and the new album title and cover have been revealed . But that’s not all… Right before New Years Eve I found out that “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” was chosen as an Official Selection for the Dam Short Film Festival in Boulder City! I am super excited to head back there, as I had a great time last year when “A Moral Discord” played. I’ll also be announcing very soon another festival that it was accepted to. Great way to close out the year! If you haven’t already checked it out though, make sure to check out the new video, “Dreams Like These” over on Youtube and make sure to leave a comment!
Thank you so much for all your support on the “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” Film Festival Fundraiser. I didn’t even think we’d hit $500.00 but as of the time of this writing we’re at $1,001.00. As I’ve mentioned before, my family’s record store, Wax Trax Records is matching all the contributions, so that means even if we don’t get another dollar between now and midnight, we’ve hit over $2000.00. That’s just insane. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it.
At this point 22 people have submitted some dollar amount between $5 and $101. I kind of lost count of the people who shared the fundraiser but it’s somewhere around 60. Just amazing. So happy with the way people actually were willing to help out by sharing or contributing. I’ve got a lot of Thank You’s to post on Social Media, and a lot of music (including a few custom songs) to send out for the people that donated! Speaking of which, the extra bonus for me is that so many of you are going to get to hear more of my music! I love sharing it with you, including my Echoes In The Dark album and its Further Into The Dark bonus disc.
With this money we’re going to be able to expose “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” to a lot of film festivals. I was hoping to have another acceptance announcement or two to include in this message, but these festivals can take a while, even after their notification dates, to get schedules out, and I’m still waiting on confirmations. I’ve submitted to a whole lot of festivals so far though, and am still planning on submitting to a bunch more. I am totally confident that when all is said and done, we’re going to have a great success rate. Some of these fests aren’t even until 2015, so the news on this video will be continuing well into next year. Getting the video screened at film festivals is just one goal on the journey… Like we’ve mentioned many times in the fundraiser, this video has a great message about the struggles of addiction and recovery and I’m hoping to get it shown at events where it can also be beneficial to people who are going through their own struggles. I believe this video will have a long life ahead of it.
So now that the fundraiser is over, I want to thank our director, Doug Farra and his company House of DON. Of course, thanks to all of his crew, all of the actors including Victoria Cameron who did an amazing job in the lead role. The full list of cast and crew can be found over at the IMDb page (along with your Thank You credits if you donated over $25!). You guys all did such awesome work, and I can’t wait for people to see this video… And I can’t wait to work with you all again! I’m actually scoring another of Doug’s films this weekend, and am looking forward to scoring his first feature-length film, “Finding The Truth,” later this year.
Lastly, I know you’ve all been asking over and over again… When can we see the video? I know I keep saying soon, but the answer is… Soon! I wrestled with the idea of releasing the video today to coincide with the ending of the fundraiser, but it would just be a disservice to all the hard work we’ve done to just throw it up online without getting some kind of local screening going first. I’m working hard to secure our first screening, and once that happens, it will definitely be up for everyone to see. Thanks so much for your patience, and thank you again for your contributions… I’ll be in touch with your rewards over the next couple weeks! And in the meantime… You’ve still got a few hours left! I’ll shut off the Paypal button when I wake up tomorrow morning!
Well how about that! My video for “Lights In The Sky” won Best Experimental Music Video at the 2013 Pollygrind Film Festival! That’s two wins so far for a video made up of old public domain footage… Pretty damn cool! Thank you to Pollygrind’s founder and organizer Chad Clinton Freeman for not only screening and picking the video, but for being the one who pointed me in the direction of public domain footage in the first place. I had seen a really cool public domain footage-based film called President Wolfman (Directed by Mike Davis) at the 2012 Pollygrind Fest, and I didn’t get a chance to talk to Mike about it, but asked Chad if he knew where to get that kind of footage so I could make my own video and he told me some sites to check out. Pretty cool, right? If you haven’t already, you can check out the video on Youtube here:
Not only that, but House of DON Production’sA Moral Discord and Finding The Truth won Best Experimental Short and Best (Real) Trailer, respectively. I scored both of those and am really proud to be working with these guys. Congratulations to Doug Farra and the whole team! Can’t wait to get to work on the full Finding The Truth film, and can’t wait to see how our “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” video turns out!
What else it new? Oh yea! I’m featured in the debut issue of a new Nevada based magazine called Desert Magazine. You can read a Q&A with me as well as a review of my album, Echoes In The Dark, at Desert Magazine’s website in the 1st issue. I’m really excited to be featured in the magazine and you guys should really go check them out!
That about does it for this blog update. I’m working on music for no less than 3 short films, a couple of little viral videos, a video-game (which is gonna be amazing and I can’t wait to share more details with you guys about that!), and maybe, just maybe, starting to plan another album. First I gotta get a couple more videos out from Echoes In The Dark before I can move on to the next one though haha.