JULY 2013 - SEPTEMBER 2013
We shot 3 short videos ...
placed in the Nicholl Fellowship Quarterfinals ...
got a few more requests ...
did mega budgeting and scheduling ...
said hello to a few new friends ...
and goodbye to a few old ones.
Prepping for another round at the AFM.
MAY 2013 - JUNE 2013
First Crush is finally imdb-qualified.
More location scouting for Midnight Swing, along w a few
meetings from new interested parties.
Chit-chatting and shop talk with Darren Stein.
Neal is working on a song for an animated/children's app ...
and I get to listen to it over and over and over and over and
over and over and over and over and over and over and ...
Nolan hard at work on the MTV series Awkward.
MARCH 2013 - APRIL 2013
We are finally out of post on Strain.
Currently in the festival circuit.
And finally out of post on First Crush!
Next Step: prep for the festivals.
Realizations bite ...
We realized Nolan is very close to outgrowing the role and
I'm getting older and more tired ... so we have one last hard
push to see if we can produce Midnight Swing as an Ohio
It's a long shot but our team is building up nicely. Another
several weeks and we should have a decent package and
team to present to investors.
Nolan has been cast on MTV's Awkward.
Premieres April 16th, 2013 at 10 PM.
We finally have city-wide curbside recycling bins in
Cowtown. No need now to move to Hollywood.
DECEMBER 2012 - FEBRUARY 2013
Putting together the pieces for an Ohio shoot for Midnight
Swing. It will either soar or I'll kiss the pavement.
Building the Team:
Nolan Gerard Funk, producer/actor
Wayne Sells, DP
Vanessa Nirode, LOI to head costume & wardrobe
Rick Brunetto, Music Supervisor
Jason Berrent, associate producer
Gail Mezey, Ohio Film liaison
Thomas McClure, Columbus Film liaison
Stay tuned for more ...
Neal is busy editing the hilarious road drama.
I'm learning color correction for Vegas 12.
To that I say ... it's a life ... of which I just shaved ten years
In talks with Leigh and her fabulous organization
Champions Against Bullying to collaborate on getting
"Strain" into the school system.
OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2012
AFM exhausting and stellar. Every company we had a
scheduled meeting with took one or more scripts and/or
projects to consider.
Strain is nearing the end of post.
Stay tuned for details as we hit the festival circuit.
In post on First Crush.
In development w Neal for a musical feature in 2013.
Catch up w west coast friends:
Pizza and swinging by the seaside w Yin.
Mexican al fresco and Skeeball w Micky and Keli.
Urth Caffe and a Ray Charles dance w Nolan.
Dissing and dishing w Doug.
Family in from Sacramento. 3 of us in a cramped room for
the AFM. Full days. Full nights. No sleep. Bad traffic.
Would I do it again after 3 years?
Ask me next year.
Groove Shack wins Bronze Award at the 2012 Chris
AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2012
Some exciting news!
The city is paving our street. Finally!
It has been a muggy, buggy summer in Cowtown.
And in other news ... shot a musical short as a first-time solo
director and DP to see how I handle a camera and the
talent at the same time. In post. First Crush stars Helen
Casebolt and Micky Shiloah.
Other news going on with Raining Cats and the attachment
of a few wonderful actors. More to come on that front.
In talks, once again, to resurrect Groove Shack.
Strain is in post!
More interest in Midnight Swing? Just when we're
discussing changing the vision.
Mswing script placed in the 2nd round (top 10%) in the
Austin Film Festival Screenwriting Competition. What does
that mean for us? Discount tix to the festival! Yaaay!!! Can
we afford to go? No! Boooo.
Maybe things are looking up with this Groove Shack
resurrection thing. We just found out today that the
documentary will receive a Bronze Plaque at the 2012
Columbus Film and Video Contest. Nice bonus: It's an
Academy Award-qualifying festival.
JUNE / JULY 2012
We survived a deranged shopkeeper, a psycho resident of
Studio City and $500 worth of Taco Bell gift cards that were
donated to feed our cast and crew -- that last part sounds
great, but the cards wouldn't activate after we had already
ordered $436 worth of tacos to feed the troops.
That said, we wrapped the anti-bullying short, Strain, with
Lelimelo Productions in LA and Orange counties. The few
glimpses I've seen are gorgeously shot -- so kudos to the
2,300 miles, a plethora of production equipment and 3
people ... crammed into1 economy car. Neal shot an
untitled and unscripted experimental road trip feature with
actresses Amy Talbott and Trista Caruso-Sudy. It was
terrific fun -- when they weren't pulling their hair out. Oy!
After a week that allowed for a total of 8 hours of sleep I met
with my liaison at the Motion Picture Corporation of
America for Raining Cats for a very entertaining and lovely
dinner. Where? At the Smith House in Century City. Why?
He thought I would be more comfortable since they serve
cheeseburgers and beer.
This seems to be a trend. My first meet and greet in LA was
at some place called Hamburger Hamlet. Us Midwest gals
like red meat! (At least that's the Hollywood mind-set.)
Am now prepping the short music video "First Crush" for an
August shoot. Thank you to Ellen S. for the amazing props!
Friends & colleagues in the news:
Nolan Gerard Funk is all over the map with 4 movies that
should all open within a 12-month period: Relativity's House
at the End of the Street, Chronicles of Riddick 3, Bret
Easton Ellis' The Canyons and the indie drama WildLike.
Yin Chang is at again. After wrapping her directorial debut,
Strain, she is back on the set of Gossip Girl for more
rollicking good fun!
Chadwick Armstrong is enjoying wearing his first prosthetic
(that would be a nose;) in the feature Not Another Celebrity
Movie. Congrats, Chadwick!!
MARCH / APRIL / MAY 2012
Helping to produce a short movie with the lovely Yin Chang.
Jason Berrent and Chadwick Armstrong. Shooting begins
June 4th in LA: http://www.lelimeloproductions.
Sat in on a screenwriting panel for MOFA in April. Fellow
guests included the wonderful Bill Farmer and Andy Rose --
both chock full of humorous tales from the trenches.
Neal is heading back to la la land for another NATPE
convention and another round of pitching ...
... en route he will be making a road trip movie with our
fellow biz-buds, Trista Caruso-Sudy, Amy Talbott and McG!
In development on a short musical piece to star Helen
Casebolt. Hope to get that up and running in June.
More projects and talks ongoing ... to our one or two
followers ... stay tuned!
JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2012
Scouting locations for Midnight Swing (Ohio shoot)
Scheduling for Groove Shack
Neal at NATPE Convention in Miami
In talks for Development w MPCA for Raining Cats.
Nolan cast in the next installment of the Chronicles of
A few scripts out at various companies for review and/or co-
pro and/or distributor consideration.
OCTOBER - DECEMBER 2011
An exhausting but successful AFM. We sat in on a panel in
which an attendee asked AFM Managing Director Jonathan
Wolf why she was only able to get one meeting out of 10
requests she sent out.
He replied? "Really? One of out of ten is great! Consider
At which point we felt like we could finally quit grumbling
about the 17 meetings we had lined up. And as always with
the AFM, you get waaaaaay more meetings than what you
schedule just by way of introductions.
So we love the AFM with its smorgasbord of humanity and
things that inspire.
Also great to catch up with good friends and make a few
Nolan snagged yet another role while we were in town. So
we've proclaimed ourselves his good luck charms.
(Although we think it might/maybe/probably have something
to do with talent:)
Dinner with Yin and Micky - left us slap-happy. We love
Dinner with Nolan (why didn't he tell me I had a piece of
chicken on my nose?). Great dinner, though. This was when
his agents called to deliver the news of his gig with ABC
Family. A very happy night!
Dinner with Doug and Nolan: We wouldn't let poor Doug
touch the breadbasket since he refused to use my organic
Lunch w Scott -- who knows where to find some of the best
frozen yogurt in Santa Monica.
Some really fun pitch meetings -- but the most memorable
pitch/meet-n-greet was w Michael L who let me wear his
jacket while we watched a storm roll in over the ocean --
and who also bought me a pricey bowl of soup from the
Loews Hotel after we got rained on.
Script requests for Midnight Swing, Groove Shack, Raining
Cats, The Siberian Exchange from several companies via
Neal received his People's Choice Award for Best Movie
Pitch; a shimmery $4,000 crystal. We're still trying to figure
out where to put it so we don't have to dust it.
Now that we're home it's a series of rewrites, schedules,
budgets, day jobs and a partridge in a pear tree.
AUGUST / SEPTEMBER
Rewrite City and Development Fun!
Prepping for the AFM.
More input and opinions from Hollywood peeps.
Are we prepared? Hell no!
But we work best under pressure.
2nd draft of Groove Shack turned in,
1st read-through of Dragonlore, and LOTS of
trials of one-sheets and pitch promos.
And my most demanding patrons at the library
have seen me on TV in this taping I shot waaaay back in
February for a Screenwriter's Round Table. Do you think
they might be a little less demanding from here on out?
My guess is no.
JUNE / JULY 2011
Busy days and nights!
Post on Action continues.
Assisting the legendary Robert McKee at the Great
American Pitchfest in LA.
Signed contracts to write fictional feature Groove Shack for
Martin Jones Productions.
Several phone meetings on Midnight Swing for potential
direction and co-production.
And somewhere in there we got chased by a golden
Marmot at Yellowstone.
Believe it! Neal is still in post on Action!!
We gear up for the Great American Pitchfest in June.
Interview with the lovely Pilar Alessandra for the Great
Jr. snags another gig. This time in New Orleans.
More indie interest in Raining Cats. Discussions ongoing.
Neal is in post on the series pilot "Action".
Developing new promo tools and new series ideas.
NGF working the LA angle for Midnight Swing.
The Great American Pitchfest gang published the McKee
article. You can read it here and catch up on the all the
details for the upcoming fest:
Interview with Robert McKee for upcoming Great American
Pitchfest in LA.
Wading through inquiries.
The release of NGF's new feature "Bereavement" hits
select theaters nationwide this month:
My poor neglected spouse won the AFM/People's Choice
Award! Thank you, People!! You can watch his winning
pitch here (although some of you might be tired of seeing it
Media Bistro FishBowl LA article
THE OTHER PAPER article
New investor interest in Midnight Swing.
An offer from our bud, Signe, to help with the Great
American Pitch Fest in LA this summer. Sounds hot! But it's
12 degrees here, so why not?
Rewrite offer from undisclosed co.
Ice storm cripples everyone's schedule.
While I was busy taking meetings at the AFM my poor
neglected spouse wandered off and found a free "movie
pitch" contest. Now he's in the top 4.
So make a neglected man happy and vote for Neal and his
Dragonlore Trilogy movie pitch for a People's Choice
The girls head off to Sundance. Will they meet with James
Franco? Does he have the script? Stay tuned for more
exciting updates. Details are elusive -- even for me, and I
wrote the dang thing.
Neal received news that he's been nominated for a
People's Choice Award -- in one of their most obscure
categories, "Film Pitching." Seriously. He entered the
script pitching contest that was held at the AFM, and he's in
the top four. This means you can go online, view the pitches
and then vote for your fave. (We say, "Vote Neal!") But, not
until right after the mainstream People's Choice Awards on
January 5th on CBS. As Neal says, he either did pretty
good -- or they needed a rube from Ohio to make it
interesting. He has no memory of the pitch so he'll be
viewing it the same time the public gets to see it.
("Actually," Neal says, "What I DO remember is
embarrassingly bad!") You can judge for yourselves and
vote from January 5th to the 15th (up to midnight) at: www.
Back to LA for more meetings for Midnight Swing: the
National Bank of CA and Mr. Lloyd.
We have some more offers.
We fall in love with the wardrobe pitch presented to us by
Ms. Nirode: http://nirodev.squarespace.com/midnight-
We win a plastic frog on the Santa Monica Pier. It's a
Another meeting right before Christmas w one of the AFM
distributors. I can't attend. My LA team goes to bat for me --
especially my producing partner who shows up early.
(Thank you, N.)
AFM: We cram 21 meetings and meet and greets in 8
days. We are tired.
We have some offers to weigh through.
Austin Film Festival
The girls head to Toronto Film Festival in search of
appropriate parties for Midnight Swing
Midnight Swing announced as a semi-finalist in the 2010
Nicholl Fellowship (pending).
Midnight Swing on imdb:
Midnight Swing on Facebook:
"Action!" in production
Mswing announced as a finalist in the 2010 Write Movies
Mswing announced as a quarterfinalist in the 2010 Nicholl
Shooting commences for TV series pilot Action!
Nolan on SyFy's Warehouse 13 this month. Aired episodes
will appear on hulu.com
We are prepping for the AFM.
Mswing to P Dempsey via Sanja.
H Sadoff to come on board mswing upon the attachment
of a director.
R Wakefield interest in mswing.
Script to M Gondry for direction for mswing via
Visual pitch for mswing to Les W. Interest confirmed.
Orange Crush reviewing script.
Anheuser-Busch reviewing script.
Preliminary auditions for "Action".
Assisting Futura Novelty Co w their requests.
Wonderful chaos this month! An exhausting but
productive trip to LA to meet with new friends and catch
up with the old. The highlights include seaweed salad, a
quick jaunt to the SM Pier and aquarium, a celebrity-
studded benefit concert in a lush back yard setting, a
stroll on the Promenade -- and lots of great meetings for
Midnight Swing placed in the finals (and pending!) for the
WriteMovies International Writing Contest:
Neal's youth-oriented tele-series "Action" is in
development. A special reading took place with a group of
young actors who gave the draft a rousing applause and
huge fits of laughter. Hope springs eternal!
Soft money for product placing lining up for Midnight
Signed new parties to Midnight Swing.
(Welcome Yada and Sanja!)
Strategic planning w MOFA members
Midnight Swing accepted into semi-finals for the
24th WriteMovies screenwriting competition.
Current standing, top 8% out of 1,000 screenplays.
Finalists announced May 25th.
In contract on Midnight Swing.
Offer to AD on upcoming feature Heartsick. In talks.
Talks continue with Whirlwind Pictures for
Scared to Death.
Contract & budget talks on Scared to Death w Whirlwind
Meetings and studio tours for physical production for an
Ohio shoot for Midnight Swing.
Script request for Raining Cats from Steve Gerbson
Final music edits for score for Minus One.
Offer to serve as AD on upcoming production of
Heartsick, currently in development.
Puppet trials continue on Fantasy in C.
Option offer and in talks with Whirlwind Pictures to shoot
Scared to Death in one of the southern states -- even
though it's set in the Northwest.
Neal's compositions for Minus One coming along nicely!
FX trials continue for Fantasy in C.
Midnight Swing at Smoke House Pictures.
Rebuilding new visual pitch for Midnight Swing.
Bye Bye Birdie on Broadway extended for 2 more weeks.
Bye Bye Birdie on Broadway entering final weekend. Boo.
Nolan signed with CAA. Yay.
Not a creature was stirring ... that might be the LA scene,
but we few here at PEP are busy toiling, cobbling and
Canaries in development
Red Hot Charlie is now Midnight Swing. We will be pitching
the script to Smoke House Pictures at the end of the
Glimmer, Glimmer (aka Red Hot Charlie, aka Midnight
Swing) is a 2009 Nicholl semi-finalist.
Neal is one door over hammering out the soundtrack to
the war feature Minus One.
Puppet FX trials for "Fantasy in C" continues ...
"The Red Spatula of Death" premieres at the Madlab Film
Festival, Nov. 7th
Meetings for Red Hot Charlie continue in NY, LA and OH!
Galloping Films has offered to act as our Int'l sales agent
for Red Hot Charlie.
Altadena Films has expressed interest in acting as our
sales agent for Red Hot Charlie.
Neal is deep in development on his series "Action".
Deb is drowning in development on several new
specs and shorts.
After a dramatic turn of events,
ALL semi-finalists in the Nicholl Fellowship were told
they did NOT advance into the top 10.
45 minutes later we were all sent a "congratulations
on making the top 10" letter.
And yet 45 minutes later, 104 of us were sent letters
explaining that there was a glitch in the computer system.
In fact, we did not make the top 10.
But we did get on "the semi-finalist list". Since then, we
have received an offer from a sales agent and a handful
of requests from several prominent companies for a
In other news ...
Nolan Gerard Funk debuted on Broadway in Roundabout
Theater's production of Bye Bye Birdie. Though it
received mixed reviews, it is (as of this entry) the 2nd
highest-grossing production currently running on
Broadway according to the Broadway box office receipts.
AND our own NGF did snag some very nice remarks from
the critics. See?
"In the middle, of course, is the rebellious, somewhat
cynical, talented Birdie, played to the hilt by Nolan Gerard
Funk whose "A Lot of Livin' to Do" is the evening's best
number." -- David A. Rosenberg, Wilton Villager
“Thankfully the adorable Trimm, a real discovery, and
Funk, who nails every bit of Birdie, save the day.” –
David Greene, Hofstra Chronicle
"Conrad (the excellent Nolan Gerard Funk) turns out to
be a lug with looks." -- John Lahr, The New Yorker
"Nolan Gerard Funk has the moves down ... his numbers
are the highlight of the show." -- Roma Torre, NY1
"Funk is a rosy-cheeked 23-year-old who doesn't look a
day over 18." -- Elisabeth Vincentelli, New York Post
"The hype over BBB has been so awesome – over Nolan's
performance in particular – girls have been lining up at
the stage door before and after the show's preview
performances for autographs, or just to catch a glimpse
of him." -- Devra Newberger, JSYK
"He sings on key and appears to be enjoying himself. It’s
nice to think that somebody is." -- Ben Brantley, NY Times
"As Birdie, Nolan Gerard Funk is cute, and his Act I songs
… "Honestly Sincere'' and "One Last Kiss'' … are highlights
of the show." -- Bill Canacci, Central Jersey
"But the true key to this Birdie's appeal is its youthful
ensemble. Nolan Gerard Funk is a convincingly loutish
Birdie." -- Elysa Gardner, USA Today
"Funk (is) casually unsanitary and effortlessly hilarious as
drafted fifties rock-idol Birdie." -- Scott Brown, NY
"This production is at its best when the kids are center
stage, especially in "A Lot of Livin' to Do," led by the hip-
swiveling Funk." -- Joe Dziemianowicz, NY Daily News
"Nolan Gerard Funk has some lounge-lizard electricity as
Conrad Birdie, the rocker manipulated into a last publicity
stunt before he goes into the army." -- Linda Winer,
"Nolan Gerard Funk, meanwhile, adds a bit of spice to
Birdie, who’s usually a remote, vaguely drawn rock-and-
roll menace to decent society. Funk makes him distinctly
unappetizing – wearing only Jockey shorts, he guzzles
beer that runs slobbily down his body — heightening the
joke of the mindless adoration of his young fans." --
Robert Feldberg, North Jersey
"Funk ... and his pelvis at least are having a good time,
and his infectious rockabilly intro, "Honestly Sincere," is
one of the few numbers cooking on more than a low
flame." -- David Rooney, Variety
"Mr. Funk, who missed several previews because of
tonsillitis, seems more at ease onstage than anybody
else." -- Ben Brantley, New York Times
"On the plus side is an enthusiastic performance by
Nickelodeon star Nolan Gerard Funk as teenybopper
sensation Conrad Birdie, whose imminent, Elvis-like
drafting motors the plot, and a supporting cast of actual
teenagers to fall over him. The energy level at the newly
refurbished Henry Miller’s Theatre rises whenever they’re
around, so much so that newcomers to the would-be
bouncy confection will wonder why composer Charles
Strouse, lyricist Lee Adams, and book writer Michael
Stewart didn’t concentrate on them." -- Robert Cashill,
Live Design, Seen and Heard
"Funk, the youthful hunk, sings well and certainly seems
to be enjoying his part." -- Chesley Plemmons, New York
"Glimmer, Glimmer" in semi-finals for
2009 Nicholl Fellowship.
Pending, top 114 out of 6,380 scripts.
We should hear something by early October.
"Happy Endings" places in the top 10
for the 2009 48-Hour Shoot-out (Columbus, OH)
Awarded Best Actor and Honorable Mention for Editing.
Screenings at Gateway and Studio 35.
Nolan starts Previews for Bye Bye Birdie on Broadway.
Opening night Oct. 15th, 2009
at the Henry Miller's Theater in NYC.
Glimmer, Glimmer in Quarter-finals for Nicholl Fellowship.
Pending -- top 321 out of 6,380 screenplays.
Team "Never the Luck" in the 48-Hour Shootout
Filmmaking Project. The rules ...
Our assigned genre: Fantasy
Our assigned prop: A large plant
Our assigned line of dialogue: "That's better than what
happened to me."
Our assigned character: A writer named Becky or Morgan
We must incorporate these aspects or be disqualified. We
have 48 Hours to write, edit and shoot a short movie.
One minute late and we're disqualified!