I don't often do this, but here is an abridgment from Billy Stanley's book, ELVIS MY BROTHER. Billy came to our FILMMAKER'S ROUNDTABLE and now, we are making a new movie about his book. After ending ELVIS WEEK at Graceland with Billy and Liz Stanley, what an amazing beginning to launch our film with Billy the Spa Guy on his YOU TUBE channel.
ELVIS MY BROTHER - BY Billy Stanley
Here's a memory, from 1977... One night Rick, David and I were playing pool, at Graceland... The phone, with the direct line from Elvis' room, rang... Rick walked to the phone and answered it... David and I watched and listened to Rick... All Rick said was, okay boss, we'll be right up...
Rick walked back to the pool room, then said, Elvis wants to see all 3 of us... David and I put the pool cues on the pool table, and followed Rick... As we were going up the stairs, we did our usual routine... We started saying, okay... What did you do??? I didn't do anything, what did you do... This was a little joke my brothers did every time Elvis called us to his room...
When we got to his room, Elvis was sitting on the edge of his bed reading his Bible... He looked up at us, then told us to have a seat... All 3 of us sat on the floor, in front of him... He said, I was reading the Bible... About Jesus and his life... Then it hit me... Jesus had followers, to write about his life... It got me to thinking... When I die, who's going to tell my story, or write about me...
This caught my brothers and I off guard... We looked at each other, then back at Elvis... All 3 of us stood up... I walked over to Elvis and sat next to him, on the bed... I said, nothing's going to happen to you Elvis... You'll probably out live all of us... He just looked at me and smiled... Rick walked over and put his hand on Elvis' shoulder, then said, you ain't going anywhere Elvis... David stood in front of Elvis and said, what kind of talk is this, you ain't going nowhere, Elvis...
Elvis smiled at us, then said... Thank you boys... Then he asked us again... Who's going to tell my story... I said, you have all the guys that work for you, Elvis, I'm sure they will do something... Plus, you have Priscilla... He looked at me, then said... You know about the book that's about to come out about me... It was written by guys that worked for me, it's not a good story, and it's not a fair story either...
He continued... Priscilla is my ex-wife, while we did love each other and still do, her account of my life won't be flattering, either... Rick then asked, what do you want us to do, boss??? Elvis said, if and when that day comes, that I die, I want you 3 to tell my story... Now, this was something that really floored us... Elvis continued... Y' all are the only 3 that can call me your brother... You have a unique perspective that no one else has... I want you to tell everything... The good and bad, but please try to explain why I did some of the things I did...
Elvis started to get emotional now, a tear came to his eyes... I put my arm around Elvis, and pulled him close... I said, we love you... We'll do what you want... Rick sat down, next to Elvis and put his arm around him, also... David walked up to Elvis... Elvis had his head down, David reached down and gently pulled Elvis head up, then said... You ain't going nowhere without your number one badass, Elvis... You hear me??? That lighten the mood, a little...
Elvis stood up... He said, you think you can take me, David... David said, hell yeah... Let's go now!!! Rick and I stood up... Elvis said, I'll take all 3 of you on... David said, let's dance!!! Then the wrestling match began... The 4 of us wrestled until we were out of breath, and laughing... A couple of weeks later, Elvis passed away...
We thank Billy Stanley, the Step Brother to Elvis Presley. Here at the TABLE, you may have an idea, a play or even a screenplay and we want to work with you. Here is why. We are looking for two more stories to complete our film slate. Contact our Vice President, Stephanie Musser today.
Billy Stanley wrote a famous book ELVIS MY BROTHER and now, through the FILMMAKER'S ROUNDTABLE, a new film is coming to life! Just think, a movie about the KING OF ROCK AND ROLL is on the books and GRP FILMS is creating this movie with the NY Times Best Selling Author, Billy Stanley!
As part of the process, the team is attending ELVIS WEEK 2019. This is the largest gathering each year to celebrate Elvis Presley. August 8-16, 2019 are the dates and the entire week has been finalized. If you are an Elvis Presley fan, you will want to plan to visit Memphis, Tennessee and join in on the festivities!
Billy Stanley and Kevin McAfee will be at the ELVIS WEEK together with Bill Stallings and screenwriter Jim Gromer on the last Wednesday and Thursday during the celebration week. You can meet many of those who were in the life of Elvis Presley and hear stories of kindness, of love and true facts about the life of the greatest entertainer in the world.
BILL STALLINGS - AN ELVIS EXPERT
Kevin and Bill met in Franklin, Tennessee last week to discuss the motion picture and future of the episodes he has been creating. Bill was invited to be a participant inside the motion picture working on the "behind the scenes" part and also as another voice into the film. Bill has invaluable information for the success of the movie and the GRP team is honored he is going to be involved.
If you are not a subscriber on the YOU TUBE channel where Bill Stallings has created for Elvis Presley, we want to encourage you about this. Bill is a talented and caring person regarding the life and legacy of Elvis Presley.
STEP FAMILY MEMBERS
The theme of the movie ELVIS MY BROTHER embraces one of the power of unconditional love when you experience a "blended family". Over half of America is facing the blended family situation today. Many have difficulties embracing people who are not blood relatives, but Elvis demonstrated true love to his step-family. This is part of what is unique and special about Elvis Presley.
Every Elvis fan is important to our GRP FILM team and we appreciate each and every opinion. Even when some may disagree, we believe unconditional love is more powerful and in alignment with the Bible, which has been embraced by the Presley and the Stanley family.
Billy and Liz Stanley are inviting all of you to ELVIS WEEK 2019. They are bringing the GRP FILM TEAM to Memphis and we would be so very honored to meet all of you. The "candlelight vigil" on Thursday night before the closing on Friday will be a highlight of filming, so if you can, please join everyone for a memory in Memphis like none other.
GRP believes that Elvis Presley knew Jesus Christ as his personal Savior. You cannot listen to him sing the gospel hymns and not be moved by his passion toward God. Because his Bible went wherever Elvis would travel, he was never far from God's word. This is the final and most important element in the new movie being made, ELVIS MY BROTHER.
Hope to see you all at ELVIS WEEK! Remember, your story may be the next FILMMAKERS ROUNDTABLE film so don't hesitate to contact Stephanie Musser today to learn more.
Follow your dream,
GRP FILM TEAM
This weekend the FILMMAKER'S ROUNDTABLE has the opportunity to announce a new content creator, Deanie Merrell whose writings have now birthed a new motion picture, JOY IN THE MORNING, the story of a dramatic transformation in a battle with her daughter fighting cancer.
Jenni and Heath had seven children when she contracted a rare cancer that would lead to her untimely passing after twenty two months. The story of her life and the miracles that surrounded her death have inspired thousands and this film is now being made thanks to Director Heather Olive and John and Deanie Merrell the Executive Producers of JOY IN THE MORNING.
Maybe you have a story that is a personal one of triumph, did you know that the TABLE is waiting to have you engage our professionals? We believe you will be thrilled to become a part of this journey. Be sure and watch our videos so you can be equipped to pitch your film to our team.
Secondly, our SVP Stephanie Musser stands ready to talk with you about your story. We have many new authors who are becoming filmmaker's and each month, the story builds and is even more exciting. Never give up on your dream because your story may be the next film selected for our partner, GRP FILMS.
You can also find the ministry based projects under www.veritasmissionfilms.com and learn more about how non profit donors and contributors are funding films from every walk of life. Churches, ministries and organizations are bringing stories to our team and you can be a part of using the visual language to impact culture.
Thank you for joining the FILMMAKER'S ROUNDTABLE in our process to make this exciting journey of filmmaking a reality.
Many memories over four decades in the motion picture industry are flooding my mind this morning. Inside each experience, there are invaluable lessons we learn about story and finding stories that arrest our spirit. So, please allow me to indulge here a moment.
Almost two decades ago I was with a man I had grown to love very much, Bill Ewing. He had worked for years as the Vice President of Sony for Columbia Pictures and we were finally at a place to take our film we had created to a screening room after completing our surround sound mix. The film was BEYOND THE GATES OF SPLENDOR.
I noticed Bill was working on the "behind the scenes" technical aspect as we were about to screen the film for the very first time. There was an older gentlemen who was a different ethnicity, but I don't remember which who was at the back of the room. Many executives were coming to the screening and naturally I was curious how they would receive the "film".
After the screening, we had a few words and thanked everyone for coming, but Bill made a direct line to the projectionist who was in the back of the room behind the doors where the film had run. I was surprised Bill would want to hear what the guy who ran the movie would say. Bill came out of the room with a huge smile on his face and after the normal salutations with the studio guys I asked him, why he had ran to the back of the room after the movie was finished when all the studio guys were there?.
He said, "The projectionist had tears in his eyes". Bill was teaching me an invaluable lesson with his actions. He knew something I had not learned.
You see, a projectionist at SONY had seen thousands of films over the years, but this man followed up by saying, "You have to get this film out there, Bill". The test of the man and his emotional experience was a "litmus" test for the movie screening and a foreshadowing of the success to follow. The wisdom in this small act confirmed so much as we paid the projectionist for his faithful service.
We never know who God places in our lives to "test" what we create as a third party, but the investment is invaluable. Sometimes it can be a projectionist or someone whom you would not believe or understand their value, but we in the film industry KNOW their value. Do you have a "litmus test" besides friends and family to share with you the positives and negatives of your creative writing? Would it be worth it to you, to have this asset close by?
At the FILMMAKER'S ROUNDTABLE, our team is here to help you as you bring your content to our table for one reason, a "proven litmus test" and a process where proven diagnostics and analysis will adjudicate and resolve creative barriers and expand your understanding. We don't use one judge, but many adjudicators to gain the knowledge of excellent advisors helping you for one purpose, to win in a highly competitive field of writers. There is no perfect book, screenplay and re-writes are common, script doctoring have become the norm, but for authors who dream for their book to be a movie, this is different.
We tell authors and content creators the majority of the time, they do not have a book which should be made into a film. However, we have one author from last year who is now turning their book into a trilogy because of the ethos, the power of the story and the expansion of a wonderful read. Do you realize what could happen?
After one of our films, we received 114 screenplays written by WGA screenwriters and of those, only eight made the "grade" to move forward. Of the eight, three were finally in the top and only one moved forward into film production. Could you be the one? We need two more stories to complete our "slate". Will you be one of those stories?
Dare to dream and invest in "listening to others" for an honest and accurate assessment of your creative content. We believe by listening, you will grow and be more prepared for the future!
Best to you in your writing!
PS Please be in prayer for Lorretta Segars who is one of our authors for her book SAND IN TUSCANY and has now a feature screenplay finished entitled, WAR BRIDE. Her cancer has returned and we are remembering her in prayer. Thanks gang.
One of the greatest joys of being involved in the FILMMAKER'S ROUNDTABLE is seeing an author transition into being a filmmaker and attending a premiere. This happened on May 6, 2019 when the Freeman Family story was told in the new feature documentary film, CALEB'S HOPE.
This true story of Caleb Freeman and his family received standing ovations in Moore, Oklahoma where the head men's basketball coach of the University of Oklahoma came to the premiere along with a list of wonderful celebrities. I am so very proud of every part of this feature film.
Congratulations to the entire Freeman clan and I am so thankful for Regal Cinemas and the amazing cast and crew who game together to honor this family. In two days both screenings were packed at 588 people and 237 people from both theater seven and theater thirteen. All we can say after this amazing night is WOW!
Maybe you have a story and you have always wondered, is this organization simply a vanity press in the "film industry"? I can tell you we are far from it. Hundreds of authors and independent content creators have tried unsuccessfully to be in the film industry where our team has served faithfully for four decades.
If you had any question before, please go to www.calebs-hope.com and see what an amazing story this has been made into a feature documentary. This is one of the fastest growing "genre" arenas in cinema and your story may fit perfectly. Don't hesitate to call us and let u know about your project and do it today!
Special thanks to our co-producer Stephanie Musser and the recruited financiers you have brought to the table to make this dream a reality.
Congratulations to all.
Normally we talk about the books we are transitioning into motion picture and in the last twelve months, we have seen half a dozen groups enter into the movie industry. The process is WORKING!
However, we want to come for this month and ask for prayer for an author's husband. Lorretta Segars wrote the book, SAND IN TUSCANY. Her husband is Jimmy Segars and he is an amazing man, a purple heart decorated war veteran from WWII who is in the hospital as we write this blog.
Jimmy was found with a blood clot on the brain and he had surgery in Huntsville, Al. where their family resides. The family has been close beside Jimmy but over the weekend his blood pressure has not stabilized and he is having some difficulty in ICU.
We would like to take a moment to ask for you to pray for Jimmy. The surgery went well but the complications after the surgery seem to be lingering. Our team believes in the power of prayer and we see the future to be bright for Jimmy, but we know this is in the hands of our Lord.
Thank you for praying for one of our most endeared author's family member. We are creating a documentary SAND IN TUSCANY and a feature film WAR BRIDE as a duo project in film and are so excited about the future. Now, we need Jimmy to do well and we thank you for remembering him in your prayers.
May God bless you and may the Lord touch him even now.
The wonderful phrase, "Beware the Ides of March" reminds us of the power of the chosen words, which can turn into a book and then a movie. Words give us a source where we can not only communicate, but project into the future prophetically. The very words we select to talk about our "intellectual properties futures" should always be chosen wisely.
The "promoters" of the world are often misunderstood. Sometimes in a good way and sometimes in a very bad way. People who believe and stand for what they believe in are special. There is also a dark side to promoters. These are people who do the opposite of "under promise and over deliver". They are often fraught with non truths, they "lead people on" and do not follow up with their word. Beware of the deceivers in the motion picture industry just as we have to beware of the authors who are deceivers.
WHO ARE YOU?
So the real key in the world of the FILMMAKER'S ROUNDTABLE and a critical success factor remains with this question. Who are you in the world of promotions in regard to your own books? Don't feel you need to "sell us" on your book, it's value or the team around you, because books are adjudicated on their own merit, not on your pitch exclusively.
Working hundreds of authors and publishers, we have heard many "stories and book pitches" and normally they are "promotional" in nature. Personally, this is a good thing because it gives us context, demonstrates passion and illuminates the strengths of each project.
Some of these are good and some are bad, but what we have learned is to never "judge" prematurely. The key is to not oversell. We have authors who have taken over a year to get everything in place and then, like a domino chain the pieces begin to fall in place. Remember the old wise "turtle wins the race" story is trure.
A word we use a lot in this industry is PERSEVERENCE. You have to be unconditional in your pursuit of excellence. Don't give up and stop believing, but don't expect things to happen fast. This is not like ordering a new car and have a delivery date. In fact, it is impossible to predict a timeline because every situation is different. Our team works very hard to ensure we communicate the strengths, weaknesses and barriers, but you will never hear us give a "timeline" or critical path schedule to our content creators.
Don't make up stories as to the "why", just tell the truth. Honesty means, "Accurately reporting the facts to those you love, even when it hurts." This means it takes courage to deal with anyone when you have a dream. Resist the temptation to paint a picture that is "bigger than normal" to buoy up your intellectual properties.
The next key fiscal element of the TABLE has to do with recruiting, finding and securing seed capital to begin your journey. Most authors believe books can be optioned to a film studio. If you are a best selling author, you "may" have this luxury, but this is not for the masses and it doesn't work this way. In the coming months I am going to be talking about this area a lot. The seed investment for any new business start up is vital. Some people do not have any seed capital, but they have a dream.
A wise man once told me to "Aim Small and Think Big". I believe those words are the very words of truth that are key in making your story a movie. You will need to learn to trust a filmmaking team, so be wise in selecting the production company you work alongside of and make sure, they are not "promoters" only.
The reality is this. There is a dark and a light side to every individual, so be very careful to find people of integrity. Our team has made mistakes in believing people we thought were credible, but they turned out to be the opposite. We all learn through our failures don't we? Don't be afraid to ask for references and find the best people because the film process takes years and you need to feel comfortable with whom you are working alongside.
THE VISUAL LANGUAGE
Using the Visual Language is not easy and most people do not write within this context so don't be surprised when you are working alongside of a group of screenwriters for the purpose of transitioning your book, into a full length screenplay, when the direction of the story needs to change. These are words you will want to fully understand to have a successful launch.
Visually, showing something verses saying something is vital to understanding the world of film. This will require a group of people that are professional in this area. Remember, it is a "team" not an individual who makes a movie. It is an author, not a team who writes a book. They are different kinds of creative worlds.
The FILMMAKER'S ROUNDTABLE is excited about the future because we have an author who has just expanded their screenwriting objectives to include a trilogy. This is a huge undertaking and we are honored to be a part of the lives of our authors who are now, filmmakers.
Here is the good news. Each day is new and it gives you the opportunity to decide what kind of author you will be. Make the decision to change, if you are doing things wrongly and decide you can transition into a trustworthy partner for the future.
My faith and the God I choose to follow has helped me in so many ways. If you don't have a faith, consider this future to decide what direction you will want to head. Decide today to live a life of the golden rule and simply wait to see what can happen to change your life.
Have a great March!
Happy Valentines Week and hope each of you who are authors, playwrights and screen writers know, there are a lot of wonderful films out there that all began, with a book. We at the FILMMAKER'S ROUNDTABLE have seen three new authors in the past year who are now making feature documentaries, narrative feature films and more.
Perhaps you have a story you have felt for a long time would work well in a screenplay, but you just need advice and counsel regarding the next steps. We have a window of open of time to add you to our portfolio currently being assembled. Continually, we are looking for two more films to fill our slate.
Do you think your project could be our next one? This will require sacrifice, investment and belief in your work with passion. We are finding many excuses can surround you from moving forward and if you can think of a lot of reasons why you should not be involved, then let us encourage you. Don't step out in faith and keep your story to yourself.
The FILMMAKER'S ROUNDTABLE seeks to find people who are daring, bold and truly believe they have something important to share with the world. We steward every penny invested and we crawl, walk and then run with you. I am so very thankful for every author we are currently making films with.
We continue to congratulate Beth and Gary Lambert, Jimmy and Lorretta Segars, Jeremy and Emily Freeman and our list goes on and on. It's time for you to begin to believe you have something to share and if you do, please do not hesitate to contact Stephanie Musser today.
Make the call that can change your world, and ours! Have a great month of Love and just remember, each one of you have a purpose, so make it missional and begin to believe in what you have to offer. It takes a village to make a movie, and we would be honored to be part of your village.
There are many phrases which begin a legacy. I am reminded of Lord David Alton saying to us one day in the House of Lords in Great Britain. It only takes a small stone to start a landslide.
Believing in a landslide, for you....
In 2018 there was one film that captured my heart written from a children's book by a famous English author, CHRISTOPHER ROBIN. This particular film connected with me for a couple reasons, so allow me to share a personal history and backgroud. The story of Winnie The Pooh has been a fabric throughout my life because of relationships. We have friends who helped make this wonderful picture, but let's go back to the "why" this movie connected with my heart for a moment.
I was a college cheerleader at the University of Oklahoma in the seventies and attended the Orange Bowl the year that Arkansas beat us for the national championship. The half time show was based on a DISNEY film, PETE'S DRAGON and it was just a wonderful experience, even though the football score did not reflect my college's desires. What was significant about this event, was the animator involved with this film was Richard Rich, who had worked at Walt Disney Studios on two films. Pete's Dragon and Winnie the Pooh.
Later, I would travel to Buena Vista studios and begin my first internship and eventually connect with the head of Home Entertainment Jim Jimirro where later we launched the Disney Channel. President Sharp at OU and James Garner were directly responsible for me going to DISNEY to begin my career. This experience changed my life in the field of motion pictures. Never would I have dreamed this experience would shape my own heart and desire to tell stories.
Later, I would work at Nest Entertainment, a feature length animation studio which produced THE SWAN PRINCESS. I was honored to serve where we bought Richard Rich Animation studios and got involved in the Animated Stories of the Bible. We would often talked about the foundation of filmmaking with Winnie the Pooh and as a children's film project, this brought a wealth of insights. From Disney to Nest Entertainment, motion pictures would be my ultimate "calling" where I landed after 30 years of age as a studio film veteran.
Now, to my story which leads us to my personal favorite holiday film, CHRISTOPHER ROBIN. The screenplay was masterful, the story telling connected us to the original POOH and the invaluable lessons in life remained timeless. I am so thankful DISNEY has continued the tradition even with the "spirit" from the new MARY POPPINS RETURNS in family friendly movies. Congratulations to their entire team.
This process of filmmaking all begins with a "book" and as the Filmmaker's Roundtable begins to gear up for 2019, we reflect on the following accomplishments from last year. Three authors from the Filmmaker's Roundtable are now making movies! It doesn't happen with every author or even every book, but just know this, it begins with a dream, excellent adjudication and review, great sacrifice and desire to finish.
We have alway said that talent is a huge part of story, but the team around the story only enhances and makes the story better. CHRISTOPHER ROBIN delivered and the team around the story made it happen.
This year in 2019 consider having our team of professional adjudicators come alongside you and your dream. Give us the opportunity to work with you. If you have questions, we have a Frequently Asked Questions page on our website, so check it out. We look forward to serving you.
If you are a publisher and desire to work with an integrity based partner, call us today and we will connect you one of the finest teams any coach would desire. This is what makes our Filmmaker's Roundtable unique.
We close by thanking our screenwriters, our colleagues, our judges and the non partisan reviewers who analyze each book for a potential film. Your diligence and real professional background brings greater confidence to all of our authors.
God bless and Happy New Year Everyone,
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
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!