City In Your Eyes Music Video with Chris Connelly

Amazon ad
Howdy folks! I have a bit of cool news. Citizen in the Temple, is now on Amazon Video Direct
It’s a great new platform for content creators. Here’s what it means:

– Rent: $1.99
– Buy: $4.99
– Prime Members: FREE!

Yup. It’s totally free for all you Primers. And now a favor, I must ask. Stream it! We get a small amount per minute streamed and it helps with our overall ranking. Comments are big for us too so if you see the movie or have seen it in the past and you’re so inclined, please leave us a positive comment. Your influence can have a big impact on Amazon in terms of how successful the movie is and how many other people discover it. Of course if you simply must have a DVD with extras we have them in our store

Welcome to Nok Tiris
An additional cool thing: Chris Connelly (Revolting Cocks / Ministry / Sons of the Silent Age) sang the final song for Citizen in the Temple. It’s called “City in Your Eyes.” The music was skillfully crafted by my friend Petter Wahlback. I cut together studio footage with movie clips. Enjoy!

If you’re a content creator and you have questions about the new Amazon Video Direct service, feel free to comment here or drop me a line at Thanks for reading this!



Director Statement & A Cartoon Called Blackstar

Now that Citizen in the Temple is complete and my M.F.A. diploma is in hand (woohoo!) I’m turning my attention to film festivals and Indiegogo fulfillment. Backer materials will go out soon!

I listed the project on Withoutabox and FilmFreeway. I’ve always considered WAB to be a bit clunky though necessary to get that IMDB listing. FilmFreeway has a more user-friendly layout but because some fests are listed on one and not the other, I’m monitoring both. I’ll post any fest news as I hear about it. The press kit on each site calls for a director statement so I whipped one up for Citizen in the Temple. I thought I’d share that here.

I’ve lived with the sci-fi and fantasy genres my entire life. My first memory is of running in circles during TV commercials then sitting down to watch Blackstar, the predecessor to He-Man. I spent a ridiculous amount of time gaming in my teens and twenties when a person can do that sort of thing. What attracted me to gaming was the sense of adventure and the ability to create worlds so making sci-fi movies feels like a natural fit.

Citizen in the Temple is set on the fictional planet Eolan, in the city-kingdom of Nok Tiris. Society teeters on the brink of destruction. Hyper-regulated citizens live in constant fear of their shadowy rulers known as The Consortium. Jennon Ril is one of the very few citizens with the courage to envision life a different way. It is a story of defiance and the consequences of straying from society’s expectations.

Though the environment of Nok Tiris is exaggerated, issues of government regulation, individual privacy, class separation and the abuse of technology are very close to home. I’ve always been interested in these themes and I’m excited by the opportunity to explore them in Citizen in the Temple. I have a lot of stories in mind for this setting so I hope you enjoy the first glimpse!

Does it work? And yeah… Blackstar. Anybody remember that? John Blackstar was like He-Man with black hair. There was a thing called a Trobbit. That is… a hobbit that lives in a tree.


Thanks for reading this and if you haven’t seen the trailer for Citizen in the Temple yet, you can fix that right here.

Thrill Me: Chicago Comic Con 2013


Last weekend 10,000 fans descended upon the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL, for The Chicago Comic Con a.k.a Wizard World 2013. For the first time, I was one of them. In the past few months, I’ve gotten back into comics. I’ve been reading Saga and East of West but I also just picked up Chew, Trillium and The Wake. I like the weird ones.


I’m used to going to the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) convention in Las Vegas, which is actually much bigger but at NAB there is a plan of attack. There are a lot of things to look at that pertain to my video job and clearly some that don’t. At the CCC, I pretty much wanted to look at everything. My main mission was accomplished quickly. I wanted to secure some business cards from indie comic artists for future commissions. With hundreds of artists on hand, it wasn’t very difficult. 

My wife and I arrived at the Hyatt Regency in Rosemont on Friday evening. Thanks to my sister-in-law’s employment with Hyatt, we had a room Friday and Sunday. Saturday we were booked at the Crowne Plaza, which is right across the street from the con. By the time we’d arrived, my cohort Chad Burns had already walked the floor for 7 hours collecting business cards. Between he and I, we have 4 or 5 properties we’d like to adapt into graphic novels. A major goal of mine is to expand the Eolan universe. What is the Eolan universe, you ask? It’s the sci-fi/steampunk setting in which my forthcoming films The Drone and Citizen in the Temple are set. Both movies belong to a shared universe and mythology on the planet Eolan. Once the movies come out, I plan on expanding the world through graphic novels and ebooks. More movies are in the pipe but I’ve been working on Citizen in the Temple for over 2 years. A change of pace is in order. I’m currently working on an anthology of short stories and I’d like to have a comic book cover type image to open each story. We have also done some research into releasing a role playing game but that idea has to cook a little longer. Plus, the more widespread content we have and the more people are familiar with the world, the more likely the game is to succeed.

A classic DVD I nabbed at the show was Night of the Creeps, a favorite from our recent 24 Hour B-Movie Marathon. When Tom Atkins answers the phone by saying “Thrill me,” it takes me places. I also picked up Rolling Vengeance because hey, I NEED to own the definitive monster truck revenge film! 


Our nights were taken up by Beatlesfest, which is mostly why my wife and sister-in-law were there. This is a tradition for them but I’d never been to that either. I wouldn’t call myself an avid Beatles fan by any means but I had a lot of fun. We caught the tail end of a couple main acts when they stopped checking for bracelets (we didn’t have any). Every night a gaggle of musicians gathered beneath a specific stairway in the Hyatt for a concert jam session that lasted for hours. Daytime comics, nighttime Beatles. Not a bad way to spend a weekend. 

What’s up next? There is a smaller comic convention called Dan Con coming up September 21st in Orland Park. It’s a one day event but I think it’ll be a good chance to make contacts with more artists, pick up a few indie books to supplement my current reading list and talk about the ideas we have cooking. I’ll also probably want to have a Night of the Creeps / Rolling Vengeance movie night soon too. You want in? You want in.

That’s all for now. I’m working on a little video of us walking around on the con floor but it’s taking forever to process so I’ll post it later. Thanks for reading this. 



The Blues Brothers Were Here!

One of the Citizen in the Temple locations was the Dixie Square Mall in Harvey, IL. This site was also part of the great car chase scene in The Blues Brothers. 32 years later, Citizen in the Temple was the last film to shoot in the Dixie Square Mall before it was demolished. Have a look inside…

The High Templar vs. Jimmy the Street Guy

There is a mysterious character in Citizen in the Temple named High Templar Lothryn. She is judge, jury and executioner when it comes to the fate of our hero, Jennon Ril. On 6/9, we shot Lothryn’s scenes with a very talented actress named Iris Kohl. It was a lot of fun and I think Iris nailed the cold authority needed from the character. Check it out!


The man who lifecasted Iris, built the prosthetics and painted them up was Ken Hertlein. Check out my updated Links page for his site or click here. Ken is a very experienced artist with a jaw-dropping portfolio. If you’re looking for some Hollywood-level practical effects for your film, Ken is your man.

After we shot her scenes, Iris thought it would be fun to go to Starbucks with her make up on. So that’s what we did. We had no idea we would meet Jimmy the street guy. I don’t know if he’s homeless but I do know he was a little intoxicated. Check him out at 2:20. Did he just say something about having a dead head in his bag?!

In other Citizen in the Temple news, I’m closer to locking the revision edit of the film. Digital matte paintings are coming in and VFX work is about to get underway in the next day or two.

In stark contrast to the above, last weekend we began shooting a music video for pop singer, Flora Simon. For the last year we’ve been making people bloody, mutated and tattooed. Here we have a drastically different look. I’d like to give a big thanks to everyone at The Paramount Theater in Aurora for being so accommodating during out shoot. It was a great experience to work there. The song is in Assyrian so it was fun to dissect the meaning in order to direct effectively. It isn’t often that you get to deal with source material that isn’t in your native tongue…unless you’re Mel Gibson. BOOM. More stills:



Today I mailed The Drone submission materials off to Chicon 7. Did you know that this 5 day long event has been held each year since 1939, with the exception of four years during WWII? I’m very thankful for that invitation!

Lastly, Paul G. Lyzun and I just won another Telly Award! This makes my fourth! Woohoo!

That’s all the news I have right now, yall. Follow me on twitter so we can live chat during the show. No, wait. That’s what Tosh says.

See ya.

Inspired by MarsCon, J Vows to Conquer the Red Planet!


Last weekend, March 9-11, I was fortunate to attend MarsCon 2012 in Bloomington, MN. Due to some last minute rescheduling, I was able to accompany Chad Burns as he promoted his hard sci-fi show, L5. I was there to promote The Drone and Citizen in the Temple. I brought trailers, posters, DVDs and business cards. The convention was a blast. Great atmosphere and really nice people. The creativity and technical knowledge flying around there was unreal. 


I’ve been to conventions before, but never to promote anything so this was a learning experience. I had a solid presentation considering this was last minute and I took a lot of notes for ways to enhance the overall exhibition. So look out, next con, whatever you may be! If anyone out there has any tips or marketing / convention experience, insight is always welcome. Just contact me!


As an aside, you really should check out L5. It’s a great show that is totally free on (which is powered by BitTorrent– [free, quality, legal downloads!] ). As of right now, just over 2 weeks since release, they are past 1.5 MILLION downloads. It’s catching fire! I intend to do a little more in-depth coverage in the near future. It’ll be easy, since Chad plays the enforcer drone, Valkir, in Citizen in the Temple. 


In other news, I met a new friend recently. His name is Tom Gardiner and he gave The Drone an excellent review on his blog, SciFi Singularity. You can read the full review here. Engage!


Ahh and now the call to action. As I’ve stated in weeks past, I am finishing up the rough cut of Citizen in the Temple and I’m moving into post-production. I have started an indiegogo campaign to help fund that part of the process. I’m only trying to put together $1,000. It’s a drop in the bucket compared to a hollywood production and it will go a long way toward making the movie look great. The funds will mainly go toward securing the composer and visual effects artists. Check out the trailer. If you like what you see, just donate $1.00. That’s all I ask. Cable is much more per month and you don’t even like your 300 channels! You’ll be a part of something great. Click here to donate! If these tough economic times have you down, spreading the trailer and word about the film is a great help too.


How did I sound? Did I inspire you? 


Oh and at MarsCon I was introduced to The Mars Society. I want to go on a mission at the Mars Desert Research Station. I want to conquer the red planet. It will be done.




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