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.
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.