Postscript from Jim

Hey Kickstarter Heroes,

Now that things have slowed down I’ve had some time to reflect on everything’s that’s gone down over the past three months.

As you all know Middle Man is the brainchild of one of my closest friends, Ned Crowley. Ned wrote this script with me in mind and sent it to me years ago. Because we didn’t have any way to make it happen then it was just something we would talk about every now and again.

I’ve been a very blessed actor over the years and have worked steady doing roles on television and in film. My lucky break came when I was cast as Jerry Gergich in Parks and Recreation. The power of television is pretty amazing.

Because of Parks I was in millions of households every week for seven seasons. I went from being “oh…you look so familiar” to “OMG…It’s Jim O’Heir (or Jerry)”. When that happens in the film and TV biz it changes the projects you get to work on. Ned received a call from producers he’s worked with in the past who had read the script. They wanted to make it happen. Next thing I know I’m at a meeting with them and we’re talking start dates. It was all very surreal.

Jump to a year later when we started the Kickstarter campaign. I can tell you that this is one of the hardest things I’ve ever worked on. I know there are really famous people who do a crowd funding page and within a few weeks they’ve raised millions of dollars. Unfortunately for Ned and the producers I was their biggest “name”. lol

That being said…we were BLOWN AWAY by the generosity of the people who donated. We had family and friends who jumped right in but we also had hundreds of strangers who believed in us and our project. We had shot a teaser for the film so people could get a look at what we were going to do. We wanted to let you know that we planned to make the best film possible with the limited budget we would be working with.

We reached our goal on the final day of the campaign. I’m pretty sure I broke a promotion record during that month. I was on every talk show and podcast that my publicist could schedule. Everything we all did (everyone worked non-stop) to fund the campaign was worth it. After seeing the dailies we have achieved our goal. This film looks GOOOOOD!!!!!

Ned directed the hell out of it and Dick Buckley (Director of Photography) made it look like a multi-million dollar film.

 Ned Is Tired.

Ned Is Tired.

Each and every actor brought their A game. Andrew J. West is terrifying as Hitch. On top of being one of the nicest people I’ve ever worked with he’s a truly fantastic actor. I know he made me up my game.

Anne Dudeck brought such heart and warmth to the role of Grail. She’s my love interest in the film and is as sweet off screen as she is on.

We also had Josh McDermitt on board to play T-Bird. He scared the shit out of me. If you’re a fan of his on Walking Dead you won’t believe what he does in this film. He also happens to be just a sweet sweet man. There’s a scene the two of us have in the film that both of us are still talking about.

Actors really connecting in a scene is what makes us love what we do. I could go on and on about each actor in the film but I’ll let their performances speak for themselves. I can’t wait for everyone to see it.

We shot a lot of the film in the desert….at night. That in itself was an awesome experience. It’s a little disconcerting when you’re at the safety meeting and you’re being warned to look out for snakes, scorpions and mounds of red ants. I’m happy to say that other than the red ants I didn’t run into anything too scary.

Now that the film is wrapped we’ll be getting out all of the incentives. There are calls to be made and shirts/posters/headshots/screenshots to be delivered.  Oh.....and buttons!

There’s a lot of work still to be done in post production. We have to edit, colorize, sound mix and have a score written. I wish I could just snap my fingers and watch the finished product but we’ll all have to be patient.

I know that “thank you” doesn’t cover the gratitude I have for each and every person who helped make this film happen.

I can only hope that when you see the film you will be happy that you took this journey with us. More to come as it happens. Jim.

Last night we wrapped our co-star Andrew J West.  Or Andy as we now know him.  I have to just say, not only is this guy an amazing actor, but he is just one of the sweetest most earnest, down to earth guys I have ever met.  The stuff we put him through -- blood and rainstorms and 50mph winds, and he never broke stride.  I couldn't have asked for a better experience with an actor and he and Jim were just an amazing comedy team.  A twisted Hope and Crosby, Lewis and Martin, Laurel and Hardy.   I will truly miss spending time with them and as depraved as his character Hitch is, I will miss that lug.

Keep an eye on this young man.  I hope our film does his acting justice.   More news to come supporters!  Thanks again for all the kind words.

One Night Left

Welp.....all good things must come to an end.  It's been a blur of a shoot and tonight will mark the last night of our principal photography.   It's been 17 days of shooting over the last 20 and I have to say I wish we could back and do it all again.

Sad daysas one by one we had to picture wrap our amazing and talented lead actors. 

Tracy Walter,  a gem of a guy.  One of the kindest and sweetest guys you's meet with a thousand Hollywood tales.   Told me on his last night

this was the best experience in film he's had in the last 15 years.  How great did that make us all feel?

Josh McDermitt wrapped the other night after an incredible and terrifying performance.  Any walking Dead fans will not even recognize him in this thing.

And then last night we wrapped one of our brightest stars.  Annie Dudek, who I think we put through almost as much turmoil as Jim's character Lenny.   I was not familiar with her work but she is an amazing nuanced actor who brought such depth and heart to the role of Grail.

And we finally got to see Andy West in the famed nose and glasses last night.   It was a surreal sight as he held up a local convenience store.

We have one final big scene to shoot tonight....rolling at midnight.    And then we have to bat clean up and beg Jim and Andy to help us grab some stray shots over the next few weeks.

And Jim?   Well I have to say I've known the guy for 30 years and he continued to surprise and amaze me on a day by day basis with his subtle, funny, sad, and heartfeltperformance.   And absolutely amazing actor who will leave you breathless by the end of this film.

And I have to say he has also trulybeen the backbone of this production.   Even though it appears to be a very tiring job.

We'll try and keep the info flowing.   Thanks for all your kind words of support throughout this process. 

We have a long road ahead of us as we head into post and editing next month.  But with one night to go we couldn't have asked for a better start.

Ned

Pictures tell 1000 words.

Where to begin. There's too much to tell. There have been shoot outs, black outs, rain outs and shout outs. The actors have all been amazing. Such an amazing group of people giving great performances.

Kickstarter supporters have also come from far and wide to attend the set and join in on the filming.

I know we have incredible performances and stunning film. If we don't have a great movie it's on us the filmmakers not the actors and top talent and technicians we have assembled. Fingers crossed. Here's a smattering of some behind the scenes pics without giving too much away. Enjoy the pics.

....and Action!!

So tomorrow we begin our first day of principle photography and then 20 days of back to back mind-numbing shooting.

So I thought this would be as good a time as any to announce some of our amazing leads.  

I think most of you know that we cast Andrew J West as the malicious force playing opposite Jim in this film.   Andrew skyrocketed after his short but scary star-turn as the creepy Gareth in Walking Dead.  And more recently starring opposite William H Macey and Neve Campbell in the hit comedy film "Walter"

We are also graced with the soulful presence of another amazing actress, Anne Dudek who plays the love interest and brightest spot in the film. Anne comes to us from her regular stint on Mad Men, House, and Big Love and she just completed a new series for HBO directed by Gus Van Saint.

You may not know him but you know him.  Tracey Walter plays the burned-out desert-rat priest Fr. Rickey in the film.  Tracy is a veteran of over 170 films and you know him from his great character turns in everything from Repo Man, to Tim Burton's Batman, Silence of the Lambs and over 9 Nicholson films.  Tracy is the real deal.  Has great chops and great Hollywood tales.

Lastly is a last minute gift to us. Mr. Josh McDermitt. Josh met Andrew West on the set of the Walking Dead where he currently plays Dr. Eugene Porter on the hit ACM series. Josh heard about our little adventure and wanted in after he read the script. It's a complete 180 from his character on WD and we have been fortunate enough to be able to fly him up from Atlanta in between takes to have him throw his talent into the troublemaking T-Bird..

So that's a start.  There are also a dozen other great characters who you will recognize from the big and small screen who all come in and out of the film.

We couldn't be happier and feel more lucky than to have this cast.  
And a crew, producers, DP,  and design team who have all been working 24/7 to take on this monumental feat.   It all kicks into high tomorrow.  We'll try and keep you posted on the mayhem as we move forward.

Thanks again for all the support.  Over and Out for now.

Team Middle Man

A Gathering of the Fellowship

So, we will be soon posting our cast list, but for now I thought this would be a nice tease.  We met at Jim O'Heirs for a read-through of the script the other day.  A beautiful day and almost all the leads were there.   Unlike a play it might be one of the few times everyone will see each other together.   It was a great day and everyone can't wait to shoot!

Here are a few pics from the day.  I won't name names but you might recognize a few people here from, Walking Dead, Mad Men/Big Love, Repo Man/Silence of the Lambs, NCIS, Justified.    More coming soon!

MIDDLE MAN update

Hello from LA.

Been a crazy couple of weeks but all falling into place.   Spent the last couple of weeks trying to scout and piece together the small dying desert town that Jim's character Lenny gets trapped in.   In the Hollywood world we would go build this town in the middle of nowhere, but we don't live in that world so we are trying to find awesome looking exteriors in the middle of nowhere and then looking for interiors closer to LA to make it affordable for us.

Here's a taste of the town....

Isolated gas stations...lonely diners...deserted motels...

 We're still searching for places and probably will right down to the wire.

The cast is coming together.   We hope to do a table read May 2 which will probably be the first and only time the entire cast is together.   And then a week later start rolling some film.   

We hope to have the schedule together this week.   And then shortly after will be in contact with backers who selected the "on camera extra" and "set visit" prizes, to give you options for coming out if you can.    Other prizes are in the works.     We're also going to try and switch over to a standing blog so we can post more regularly.   

That's it for now.   I will be posting a full cast list soon.  Have some wonderful actors on board but until they sign their contracts I am reluctant to post their names just yet.

More to come and thanks as always for your support!

Team Middle Man.

ANDREW J WEST of amc's THE WALKING DEAD joins MIDDLE MAN!

Thought all you great backers should be the first to know.   We've kept it under wraps but can finally announce that Andrew J. West is joining the cast of Middle Man.   Andrew is an amazing young actor on a meteoric rise.   He stars in the soon-to-be-released feature film "Walter" along with William H. Macy and Neve Campbell.   But he is truly known for his recent star-turn on AMC's The Walking Dead as GARETH, the leader of the villainous cannibals of Terminus. I was blown away by his disarming and dangerous performance on "Dead" and am grateful to have him on board as Jim's psychotic sidekick and co-star, Hitch.   We still have a ways to go on fundraising with only 7 days left.   So thanks for all your support.    Fingers crossed!

 Oh.....and here he is as Gareth.  Pretty creepy, huh?

BIG NEWS COMING!

First, thank you all for the AMAZING 4 day push.  We had 2 donors come forward and offer to match $10,000 in pledges each if we could raise that by Sunday and we did!   It restored some well needed Middle Man Mojo and now we are in the final stretch.

And on that topic we will be announcing some BIG news hopefully later today.   Someone AMAZING is joining the cast of Middle Man as costar and I hope to finally be able to revel his name. 

Hint:  He prefers "Walking" to riding the bus.

NEW DONER MATCH CHALLENGE! -- WITH ONLY 12 DAYS TO GO!

Dear Middle Man supporters,

Great news! Okay so there’s only 12 days left to hit our all-or-nothing fundraising goal and, sure, we’re a bit nervous, BUT we got a big momentum boost this week PLUS!! we just heard from a donor who has offered to MATCH UP TO $10,000 if we can raise $10,000 by this Sunday night!  Just 4 days!  So if you’ve been sitting back, please take a moment and help us spread the word through friends, family and on the inter-webs and push for $10,000 additional pledges by Sunday night and it will instantly DOUBLE”  

LOOK!  JIM'S HAPPY ALREADY!!

Thanks again for all the support. We don’t take any of it lightly!

Ned & Jim