Last night we were meeting with a wonderful group of filmmakers who were involved in the movie GOSNELL, which was recently released in theaters and had a really good discussion. While we were talking, the subject of why do you need THE FILMMAKER'S ROUNDTABLE came up. What impressed us about this team, was their willingness to listen to constructive criticism. Even as proven film veterans they could see the value of professional review.
One of the leading team members who is a director of photography shared, "This is just exactly what we need to do with our new screenplay and story we have been working on for months. We are at a place where we need someone to evaluate the characters, we need to consider the elements of plot lines, character arcs and we need an outside perspective".
You have probably heard it is sometimes difficult to see the forest for the trees, but when you emerse yourself into creative content it is essential to stand back and allow others to come alongside of you to review what you are doing. If you don't take the time to have your projects evaluated with precision, you are left to answer this question, "Are we as good as we think we are?"
A WONDERFUL GROUP BEHIND THE TABLE
The reason for a table to be "third party adjudicators" just simply makes sense. However, our table is not any more qualified or the best table in the world either. You have to find people with proven track records to truly evaluate what you are doing.
Did you know we have people on our team who have been involved in Star Wars, Harry Potter, Lethal Weapon and large film franchises? We have people on our team who have worked with Richard Donner, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and some of the greatest filmmakers of all time. I am thankful for expertise, because we all get better by playing a better athlete or a better team, right?
This is the key to great filmmaking, great understanding and recognizing a screenplay is based on "what is on the page". If it is not found on the page of the screenplay, the movie will not have the impact the filmmakers desire.
Script doctoring is the final step in taking your screenplay to the highest level. We have some amazing script doctoring who also serve THE FILMMAKERS ROUNDTABLE so stay tuned for future blogs where we discuss this invaluable process in taking content to the highest level.
CONGRATULATIONS BETH LAMBERT
Many months ago we began the journey of working with THE HARVESTER CHRONICLES written by author Dr. Beth Lambert. Beth and Gary live in Johnstown, PA. and have been working since May to secure funding for their screenplay. During this past month, the doors opened and they have fully funded their screenplay! We at the FILMMAKER'S ROUNDTABLE could not be more excited and proud of this family, their prayer team and more.
We are praying for you as you work on your plays, on your books and on your screenplays and if you find yourself needing expertise, we are honored to work alongside of you and your team. Remember this, it will take a team to make a movie, it will require sacrifice and financiers, but don't ever give up.
Keep Working, It's Worth It!
Dr. Kevin McAfee
I am so thankful for Lipscomb University for so many reasons. The Film Advisory Board has been a way to launch an upper graduate school that now serves over 45 graduate students into the film program. This is so important and I do believe in using the visual language of film to impact culture. Dean Mike Fernandez, Professor Steve Taylor and the team surrounding this college is excellent.
Our experience in working with Lipscomb since 2012 has been rewarding and very fulfilling for so many reasons. The Dove Awards are held there each year, the Gospel Music Association offices there and the Fine Arts and Entertainment department has grown in to a fascinating place.
Each year, they take their students to the largest film festival in the world, Cannes. They are committed to an LA presence for a complete semester providing internships at the largest film studios. Their syllabus focuses on the finest educational parameters in all of the university systems for directing, producing and writing. They have been on a meteoric launch into the artistic endeavors in film and I am so thankful to have been a tiny part.
As a basketball coach now serving in my 22nd year under men's head basketball coach, with one of the winning coaches in all of the sport, Bob Hoffman has been amazing. I have learned a great deal about college life, about graduating athletes and pushing for excellence across the board. Mercer University has truly pushed me to be a more educated and more thoughtful leader in the area of talking about character. Character coaching is never easy to live, but always easy to teach.
The Filmmaker's Roundtable has been present in our coaching as we have shared film clips and stories of authors becoming filmmaker's. Each year during the team retreats we show our newest films who are being created by YOU! What an amazing and truly fulfilling experience to see college athletes responding to your work.
The University of Oklahoma has once again asked us to adjunct for the business school and this week I will be instructing mature college students on economic modeling for motion pictures and invite them to participate in the FILMMAKER'S ROUNDTABLE. This is a way in which I can continue to inspire new content creators and authors.
We will be showing the new trailer of SAND IN TUSCANY and CALEB'S HOPE which all came about as a result of books2film! Do you see a trend happening here to share your stories with the world? The intersection of education is foundation to what we are doing.
Samford University has many great educational leaders and Gene Howard, the Vice President of Development has been talking with us about helping launch a higher education and real opportunity in the area of the TABLE. We believe the future in launching this school in the same spirit we were a founding member in building a new platform for Lipscomb is key.
The president of Samford recently spoke in our home town of Franklin, Tennessee to discuss the vision for the future. We believe the Filmmaker's Roundtable will be the very intersection for this movement.
Do you notice an educational trend here? The science of filmmaking is becoming more and more focused on pushing out the envelope and bringing creativity into focus in a more proactive way. Uniquely, I have found that my personal faith background has been the very rudder to guide the ship I am on in creating content. My faith embraces others who do not believe like I do and begins meaningful dialogue.
Personally, I am very thankful for the new film projects SAND IN TUSCANY, CALEB'S HOPE, MORE THAN CHAMPIONS and JP KNIGHTS which have been birthed through the FILMMAKER'S ROUNDTABLE and are now in different stages of film production. Some projects are moving fast, but it doesn't matter how fast anything moves, the turtle wins the race!
As a content creator, I want to encourage you to have faith and don't hesitate to get your film project adjudicated by excellent resources, great screenwriters and you will find the deliverables will make everything you do as you create, more efficient. The role of education always raises the standards, so thank you Universities who believe in us and who believe in film to come alongside our FILMMAKERS ROUNDTABLE.
Publishers, film studios and network influences are continuing to make a difference all across the board as me forward in the educational systems we believe in so deeply. If you are wondering about a college or university where you should consider? Don't hesitate to ask, because we serve the finest schools with pride.
This past month we have had the opportunity to adjudicate and work with authors who have submitted their books, their plays and screenplays to our TABLE. What an amazing journey it is to have real analysis, feedback and insights into a creative work. The greatest joy we have are the "thank you's" of content creators who have been looking for a professional third party to give insights.
There are many people who take "movie pitches" and wear the title filmmaker, but they do not have the resources, the capital, the partners and the track record of almost five decades of filmmaking like we do. We are not "representatives", but we are a filmmaking network who literally MAKES FILMS FOR A LIVING!
When I started in the film industry back in 1979, I would have loved to include in my own educational path, a true proven approach to ensuring my creative works would have a real life. I couldn't get any doors to open and there was not a professional team of filmmakers who would meet with me. We know it's not an easy journey to break into this industry and if you are not open to hearing the wise counsel of others, you will keep making the same mistakes over and over again. Writers, you have to be open to real critique to mitigate your risks, enhance your opportunity for placement and more.
As a young filmmaker, I thought I knew it all and everything was supposed to be "free" because I felt entitled. If a pitch, a review and an adjudication is free, there is a 99% chance nothing will happen. This is a danger with young writers and even veterans who feel they reach a certain level of any success and no longer need feedback on their creative works.
Nothing can be farther from the truth and wisdom of real filmmakers. I am reminded how much it's like representing yourself as a lawyer. You have heard the saying, "He who represents himself is a fool". I believe it is a harsh statement to say, but inside the truism lies a haunting reality to every content creator on the planet. Before you get representation, have you heard your project truly analyzed?
Let's remember that thousands of WGA screenwriters are out there and hundreds of thousands of screenplays are being written and over three million books are published every year. Now, stop to consider how yours can be different? If you don't take the time to get outside counsel, you are fooling yourself to think it will just happen.
After a successful movie we released, we had over 114 screenplays submitted to our team, but only eight of them were in the zone of acceptability with three of them closely being analyzed. Three of the screenplays were quickly narrowed down to one final work we secured. Do you understand these were WGA writeen screenplays too!
This process of our FILMMAKER'S ROUNDTABLE requires capital, financing, people who will walk the journey with you and yes, a real village of people working beside you. Hopefully, you will consider using our FILMMAKER'S ROUNDTABLE to give you further insights into your strategic direction. Maybe you have been a published author for many years, and were always curious as to the next steps into film, this is your chance.
I close this brief article about a true story and a new book now being made into a full film franchise. #BUTGOD was a movement started by a father and mother who lost a son five years ago that was seven years of age to a dreadful disease in a heartbreaking story, but it did not end there. On December 19, 2017 a tragic car accident leaves their family in crisis. Two sons were injured and the oldest son was left with a horrific brain steam injury that almost took his life.
The phone call from a driver who happened on the scene arrested their hearts. Now, both sons were in the car driving to a basketball game caused their lives to completely stand still. Jeremy Freeman and Emily Freeman are now writing a series of books and we are making their story in to a feature documentary. The TABLE was called by a local pastor who wanted to help tell their story and fund the project.
The family reached out to the TABLE and we are now honored to be working alongside of the rehabilitation of Caleb Freeman. His younger brother was ok, but the serious injury to Caleb has been devastating.
Our film partner, GRP FILMS who is under the McAfee family of companies is honored to be working on this project.
You never know when a call, an email or a connection will turn into a movie, but we have found that every step is key in the cinematic process. The non-profit mission of Veritas Mission Film Association is coming alongside of the Freeman family with the medical bills and we at the FILMMAKER'S ROUNDTABLE are joining in on this massive effort to pray for Caleb. If not for #butGod and the faith of a local pastor, this would not have taken place. www.veritasmissionfilms.com tells the story.
Let this be an encouragement to you, no matter where you are and no matter what your background is, your story is important and people will come beside you to join you in an effort if you just step out in faith. Allow us to review, analyze and move forward with you in this cinematic journey. This will take sacrifice, but it might be the turning point of your life. Let's make a difference together.
PS This is a big month for our team as we transition into our 22nd season working with Division 1 Basketball under Head Men's Coach Bob Hoffman at Mercer University. We are thrilled to be speaking to the team in Florida in October. Later, we will attend the DOVE AWARDS in Music City, USA in Nashville, Tennessee so with a full month ahead, write us today to begin your journey! Don't wait any longer to join the ROUNDTABLE!
For the next few months on the blog we are going to focus on the process where a screenplay team is brought in to provide support to an author. Lorretta Segars came to the TABLE for help. We shared about the diligent process of traveling to the Italian theater on behalf of the author with a screenplay writing team last month.
What happens after the initial discovery process in understanding the dynamics of a true story begins with creative structure. So often, structure is created by the story writing itself, but this is not true. Without a proper beat outline where scene by scene you understand the plot lines, the character arcs and the road map for the screenplay, you will have trouble communicating your story.
Years ago a former colleague of mine, Bill Ewing was working at SONY PICTURES on three films, SPIDERMAN, MEN IN BLACK and STUART LITTLE were all being shot in New York City at the same time. While at Columbia Tri Star after the merger, he had the studio responsibility of guiding the production from the studio as an executive. He would look at the production budgets and align the team by advising them if their structure was in tact and they were meeting their objectives.
It's an expensive process to make a motion picture and when you have an expert who is analyzing and looking at every step of your book being made into film, the structure can be a positive or negative experience. This is why so much emphasis is placed into the real process of making a motion picture.
In our small family of companies, we make movies. This is what makes us very different from every other "pitch group" on the planet. We are not interested in hearing movie presentations, but are more interested in making motion pictures. This is why we do not option rights or slow down the process of filmmaking. We are a company who WANTS TO MAKE FILMS. In other words, there are not a lot of "stops" along this journey.
When you consider using the TABLE, there will be real expense up front when you get started, and this is where family, friends and internal believers in your project will play such an important role. However, you have to think of your stories as a real business you are putting together. Planning, research, audience understanding and the right film team is essential in making your book into a movie and this takes time.
I was asked one day, is it a slow process? My answer was simply, "Do you like watching paint dry?" Yes, making motion pictures is slow, tedious and requires design and true methodology to ensure you have your "ducks in a row". There are many filmmaker's who do not have their own diagnostics, we do. We have strategic film partners who are veterans in this industry and are dedicated to making sure everything is done properly.
Don't you want your book to be the best it can be? In a film, you have ninety minutes or one hundred and twenty minutes to tell a story that may be hundreds of pages, so every microcosm counts. At the end of the day, you will be thankful the details were worked out to ensure the bottom line was successful.
Recently, one of our award winning documentaries, THROUGH THE VALLEY which won many film awards was made into a released feature movie last week, BEAUTIFULLY BROKEN. This is the true story of the genocide in Rwanda. It is a little film that carries a big story of forgiveness. Our prayer is that you will go see and support this movie for a number of reasons. We applaud independent filmmakers like Randy and Darla Spaulding Hartley who have worked so hard to make this dream a reality.
Thank you for taking the leap of faith to begin your journey with our umbrella of small companies. We believe you will be very glad you did.
See you on the set,
Dr. Kevin McAfee
The majority of our last month was spent in Italy working on a new author's book called SAND IN TUSCANY by Lorretta Segars which is undergoing the most important transition of all, the formulation of a new screenplay. What an amazing experience to now have an entire team of professionals working diligently to create a screenplay for the purpose of two things, making a feature documentary and also, a full length feature film. This happened because a family rallied, invested and knows the importance of an excellent story, well told.
This does not happen, unless an author believes they have a book which can be made into a film. After this, the TABLE adjudicates the process or the "pitch" to discern if this is a wise decision and why. If the "pitch" goes well and the process begins, the greatest investment is yet to be made. Each author or content creator has to step out and be willing to sacrifically fund and invest capital in making a screenplay happen. Some will work with groups to fund a documentary, but whatever the outcome, you must mitigate risks at every turn. This step is the MOST IMPORTANT step of all when in the Intellectual Properties world and we caution every author to go slow and be patient.
It is germane to find screenwriters who have the experience to ensure the right stories are told with proficiency. These screenwriters need to be individuals with a proven track record, with lots of business experience and are the "final step" before making the book a movie. We are thankful for an amazing group of professionals who all have different skillsets for each story.
The FILMMAKER'S ROUNDTABLE is for people who are very interested in taking their story and making this into a movie. Some people do not even have a book yet. They have a story and our team will review with "Content Creators" a story which has the potential to be made into a film. If the story is true, often a documentary can be a possible solution and first step before a full length feature film. Plus, we often encourage one of our publishing partners to come alongside the creator.
Our partner, GRP FILMS is now engaged professionally in creating a complete film franchise with the Segars family and you could be next. We are thankful to have served authors and content creators who are serious about making films that matter. Finding films with a purpose, inspirational and motivating are the "heartbeat" great filmmaker's are drawn towards like our partners.
Additionally, JP KNIGHTS MOVIE has now engaged Gary Lambert as a new Co-Executive Producer to work with the team in finding seed capital for their "screenwriting" goals. We want to especially send a "thank you" for authors, spouses, family members and friends who come alongside of the TABLE to make dreams a reality.
We want you to know, filmmaking is expensive and it is not an easy art form. The process of manufacturing requires a lot of time, study, precision and budgeting. The key is to not get discouraged, be patient, work hard and realize the "end" is worth the process.
Remember to contact our VP Stephanie Musser as she moves forward in working with a number of new films being made because of the FILMMAKER'S ROUNDTABLE. Congratulations are in order with so many who believe in using the visual language of film to entertain and inspire culture.
Break a Leg,
Dr. Kevin McAfee
This month is a huge because thanks to the Filmmakers Roundtable an author has now moved into the world of motion pictures. Lorretta Segars scored well on her book, SAND IN TUSCANY and we have engaged a professional screenwriting team to cover the story.
What is most exciting is we are building a film franchise starting with a documentary feature followed by the screenplay. This all happened because a former English teacher had the courage to step out in faith and chronicle a WWII epic story of her mother from Italy falling in love with a young GI and getting married in the middle of WWII.
Even more fascinating was the incredible interviews we filmed in Sand Mountain Alabama with Fred Camp, one of the last survivors of the "greatest generation" who shared as a 94 year old veteran what it was like to fall in love. His moving testimony coupled with Lorretta's excellent book started this train running.
Maybe you have wondered if your story could ever be made into a movie. Most cannot and it is only the few who literally get this far, but this should not stop your dream from taking place and happening. The McAfee family of companies are here for you because stories are so essential to great films being made.
In church this morning, Kevin Robison shared a quote from Irwin McManus that gripped my heart. Irwin said, "Whoever tells the best story shapes the culture". Isn't it amazing how the power of a great story can use the visual language of film to impact our culture for good?
Without going too far on the "faith window", I do believe in Jesus Christ. He told stories and He did this with precision. In fact, his parables still live in the world today and help us shape our decision making, or not. I am thankful for amazing stories which truly do have the opportunity to make our world better aren't you?
If you haven't contacted us yet, please consider writing to the Filmmaker's Roundtable and talking to our team of advisors. We are a professional team of adjudicators, reviewers and filmmakers who are looking for the next story to help change the world and maybe, just maybe...it is yours.
Congratulations on the many wonderful stories we are gathering to help make the future come to life as books transition into movies. I am especially thankful for Jessica and Stephanie along with Mark who are working hard to make our TABLE more relevant every day.
Let's make a movie together.
MY WHEREVER WORKOUT is now completed in its new filming in Hawaii! Author Jim Gromer has launched a newly created film series and our team was honored to join him in filming on the Big Island of Hawaii during the month of May. What an amazing experience to see over 150 exercises be completed for a workout, wherever you go. You can do these exercises sitting, standing or laying down, so they are for everyone too!
Every film starts with a dream. Sometimes it begins with a creative concept, then it may transition into a book and eventually, after a screenplay is written, a movie is on the horizon, or a series, just like MY WHEREVER WORKOUT.
Professional Olympians, the NFL training experts and more were involved in this world class film shoot sponsored by "Special Operations" for the Navy and author, Jim Gromer. We congratulate Jim on getting all the funding together and launching one of the most aggressive and exciting projects we have seen in fitness for a long time.
GRP Films and the VMFA were all brought in to capture amazing models both men and women from many races to help inspire people to work out, get healthy and make a real difference in life. Thank you Jim for inviting our team to participate and also to help those on the Big Island with "giving back" and sending contributions through the Hawaiian police department and civil defense experts.
The Filmmaker's Roundtable congratules this amazing team for their efforts.
SAND IN TUSCANY has now begun and is full on in a feature length screenplay development for a book set in Tuscany, Italy. This is an exciting project taking place in World War II in one of the most amazing love stories we have heard in decades. Lorretta Segars has written a book based on a true story about the love of her Italian born mother and a young man from Sand Mountain, Alabama.
Stay tuned for more exciting updates as screenwriters have been professionally engaged by the Segars family and the "race is on"! Thank you all for being a part of this exciting project as we bring SAND IN TUSCANY to the big screen. Our Table is thrilled to be working with this amazing family.
Have a great summer month in June!
Congratulations to Lorretta Segars for her new book SAND IN TUSCANY! Authors who bring their books to be professionally reviewed are many, but when you reach the highest level and are "accepted" into the final group of finalists for a film, it is exciting.
Lorretta and her husband Jimmy along with Kirk met with our film team, GRP FILMS last week in Huntsville, Alabama. This important meeting took place as a direct result of the positive scores for SAND IN TUSCANY. Believe it or not, this is a self published author who has created a beautiful historical fiction based in WWII in the military theater of Italy.
When we met with this wonderful family, we knew there was something special about this story, but we were even more impressed with the family, their integrity and belief in excellence. A special thank you to Stephanie Musser who has done another fantastic job working on behalf of our FILMMAKER'S ROUNDTABLE. With her initiative, she connected with Lorretta and the rest is becoming history.
Lorretta watched a movie we produced and directed entitled LAST OUNCE OF COURAGE and desired to reach out to us. She also had written Chuck Norris, who also endorsed our motion picture, thanks to our dear friend and amazing actor, Marshall Teague. We were honored to meet her husband Jimmy who is a Viet Nam veteran and is still shooting in the seventies playing golf! Congrats to the entire Segars family.
If you are an author, playwright or screenwriter and you have not had your property professionally reviewed by THE FILMMAKERS ROUNDTABLE, you have been missing out.
Also, a special thank you to another content creator, Josh Buchholtz who has created another half a dozen programs for our YOU TUBE SHOW. If you have not watched our new episodes, you just need to go on YOU TUBE and type in the words, THE FILMMAKERS ROUNDTABLE SHOW and you can see more new episodes which are now posted from 2018.
Congratulations to the Segars family and we look forward to our future together. This love story shows all kinds of real promise. We are also honored to have Kirk Segars join our Executive Producing team for this amazing movie's screenplay. If you are from the great state of Alabama, let us know if you desire to make this dream a reality.
Three films are in production at different levels as a direct result of the hard work for authors the Filmmaker's Roundtable has been doing. It takes a real community coming together to make a movie and this all can begin with a book, a belief you have something worthy of sharing and considering the visual language.
We look forward to the coming days when we see many authors taking the steps of faith to make their dreams a reality. This all begins when an author agrees to begin with a movie presentation. Not many authors have the skills to get through the doors to a Cinematic Book Review.
However, for those who have faith, work hard and hone their craft their diligence can be rewarded. The key is to never give up and keep writing. Don't allow the nay sayers to discourage you. Don't give in to the back seat drivers who are negative toward any thing related to cinema.
Never in history has their been such an outpouring of new movies with inspirational messages and we congratulate our friends who made BLACK PANTHER, I CAN ONLY IMAGINE and THE APOSTLE PAUL. We believe many more films are on the horizon and hopefully one of those, will be yours.
Thank you TABLE for doing an outstaning job and remember, you never know when you may be the very "vessel" to change the world with your story. Go ahead, take a leap of faith and make your dream a reality!
This is a year of new beginnings so get on board and make it happen.
Dr. K is also called "Coach KMAC" and is a veteran filmmaker, speaker and author and coach who's been coaching hoops in the NCAA for 21 years with Mercer University Bob Hoffman Men's Basketball coach. His unique FILM COACH style is how this blog rolls.
Let us gather now as friends on the red carpet premiere for your new film.
"Our team of film coaches are among the finest anywhere. You won't find a better group of people in the world!"
Team members come together to find ways to increase our table just for you.
Dr. Miller Bargeron and Jennifer Calvert are authors who are now filmmakers, so remember YOU COULD JOIN US!
In Franklin, Josh Buchholtz and Rebecca Sharp just got engaged and we celebrate and congratulate our team members who are in love!
Doug Davis has been a true success story with the great Warren Theater Chain in Moore, Oklahoma. A dear friend and thinker in our industry for films/dining!
You will find many pros working together to make movies and we are unified in the excellence of the art!
Christi Craddock is from the group HTT based in Oklahoma City and is a rising star in counseling. Her group has many books you will want to know about more.
Roundtable Team are gathering in Penn., Hawaii, Washington and Alabama on new projects!