Blog Archives

Ghost Phone: Hear the Buzz!

We’ve done it! After five years of toiling in the gladiator pit of indie filmmaking, GHOST PHONE is now in theaters! We parked ourselves at the Storyteller 7 in Taos a couple days ago and interviewed people as they came out of movie. We could tell you what was said, but it’s so much easier for you to just watch the video.

If you haven’t seen GHOST PHONE yet, take some advice from the people in the video below and see the movie–four or five times. We’re running through December 19, 2013. On December 23, 2013 Taos Mayor Darren Cordova will draw the winning ticket on Taos Plaza. Think about packing the moving van, because you just might be a winner!

We’ve also received some good newspaper and television coverage. Check these links out:

Thanks,

Jeff and Darien

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Ghost Phone in Theaters: A Call for Help

Ghost-Phone-movie_watch_to_win

Have you ever wanted to be involved in a movie production? If no, we don’t blame you–it’s a lot of work. If yes, Darien and I have a great opportunity for you. Either way, keep reading. It might change your mind.

So here we are three days away from our World Premiere of GHOST PHONE in Mitchell Theatres. Starting on Friday Dec. 6 every person who buys a ticket for GHOST PHONE and watches the movie will have a chance to win five acres in Taos. That’s right. Every ticket gets you in the movie and also in the running for a land giveaway. GHOST PHONE, WATCH TO WIN!

Cool stuff! But there’s more.

We have a vision of both marketing our film and using it as a test rocket, a template so to speak for the Resurrection of the Taos Talking Pictures. It’s a fairly complex project we’re entering into. We’re bringing back a film festival AND starting a film distribution company. The film festival will be a showcase for films we accept into the brand and market internationally.

It’s hard work but someone’s gotta do it.

We’re hammering away day and night to promote the movie and the new Taos Talking a Pictures. We’ve emailed and called more media people than that lady in the now-infamous Taos-area police chase video. Darien and I have even scored some interviews in print and TV!

But we still could use some help. We want the Ghost Phone Watch to Win giveaway, and the new Taos Talking Pictures, to go viral, explode over the internet like that Gangnam Style video. That’s where you come in. Please help us spread the word virally through your social media networks. Share our stuff on Facbook, Twitter, Pinterest. Even good old-fashioned word-of-mouth is fine with us. Just get the word out. Please.

We’ll acknowledge your help on our website and social media accounts. We’ll return the favor if you have a cool project you want to share. We might even ship you a movie from our catalogue.   Simply put, we cannot be grateful enough of your help here. We’re including our GHOST PHONE press release that contains details about the movie and the new Taos Talking Pictures. All you have to do is share!

AND REMEMBER: GHOST PHONE, WATCH TO WIN!

Thanks friends,
Jeff and Darien

The Resurrection of “Taos Talking Pictures!”

WATCH GHOST PHONE AND YOU HAVE A CHANCE TO WIN FIVE ACRES IN TAOS, NEW MEXICO!

A VISION? Or a HALLUCINATION? Or a classic ACID FLASHBACK?

What is going on? Is this some sort of dream? Why do I do what I do? All these are fairly universal space cadet questions. I’m older now and should be giving up on those types of questions. But, nooo, I’m still eccentric and perhaps eclectic.

First let me confess I’ve consistently broken the cardinal rule of film-making which says you only use OPM (Other People’s Money) to produce your films. I’ve funded my films myself with the grace of Taos land as our sponsor. But, as a result I’m often on the verge of bankruptcy because of this passion.

I’m impatient and can’t stand the process of trying to take your script and film vision and run it through the Gladiator School of Hollywood fundraising. For a humorous view of what I’m saying, see Kevin Bacon in THE BIG PICTURE. This is similar to what I experienced in Hollywood.

Another film that applies to me is THE BIG LEBOWSKI. Many of my old high school friends thought “the Dude” was based on my early days in Venice Beach. This is not true, but in fact the real life “Dude” that inspired this Coen Brother’s character was another guy named Jeff who coincidentally had an office two floors directly above mine in Santa Monica when The Big Lebowski came out.

So, why am I writing this blog? It’s to get a flow going in relating to the viral world, i.e. my friends all around the world many of whom I’ve yet to meet. Hi, hello, nice to meet you, please don’t stalk me if I offend or attract you.

I’m writing to let you know GHOST PHONE is going to have it’s World Theatrical Premiere beginning December 6th, 2013 and running for two weeks to December 19th, 2013, EXCLUSIVELY at MITCHELL THEATRES. Yes, we’ve formed a partnership of sorts with Mitchell Theatres. They are great people to work with, humble dirt farmers in Oklahoma who have expanded into movie exhibition.  They’re excited to work with us on putting out GHOST PHONE in this highly unique and unusual way because? — I guess life is an adventure to them too.

And, we’re inviting you to join us. My new associate and partner in the Resurrection of the Taos Talking Pictures, Darien Fernandez, has brought combustion into our thinking processes and we’ve come up with a “Vision.” And here it is…

We’re putting GHOST PHONE out into the world as a test rocket, an explorer, breaking ground, setting a new paradigm for getting an independent film out before the masses. There are no clear pathways, lost hopes of hitting the homerun deal at Sundance or Toronto or Cannes, even though that’s the goal of all independent filmmakers. The filmmaker spins in confusion as I have also. Everyone is an expert out there, offering sage advice and access to their connections and knowledge, if you’ll only pay them a small fee. The pathways are not easily found, the jungle of distribution and marketing is fraught with overgrown vines, snakes and even Chupacabras.

I’ve been holding back on GHOST PHONE entering this “marketing Jungle” for a few years due to a general state of confusion and doubt about how you traverse this jungle. Then about two months ago the “Vision” started to appear in the ethers as Darien and I bludgeoned about with our ideas. He’s young and naive and I’m old and cynical; a magic elixir of concepts emerged from this catalyst.

We’re the little engine that could (from that children’s book I read so many times to my kids). By giving five acres to some lucky GHOST PHONE audience member we hope that you’ll pack the theatres. The real star of our film is not Tom Cruise or Brad Pitt, but it’s land in Taos and you the audience members who support us by coming to the movie.

In our ideal goals, we will get a phenomenal turnout and the national media will pay attention. We then plan to take the movie to a wider national theatrical audience. Then we plan to set up a relationship with either HBO or IFC or AMC or FX or Showtime or Netflix for us to launch our World TV Premiere with one of them. Again, this is just a test rocket or a scout sent out to clear a path through this jungle.

The second part of the “Vision” is, it’s just about as much work to distribute 50 films as it is one film. And there is strength in numbers. So, this is where the “Resurrection of Taos Talking Pictures” comes into play.

The old and currently existing paradigm for film festivals is there’s one in almost every town these days and they’re great for the local economy and they bring films to a community that that community would probably never have an opportunity to see. But, the actual filmmakers really get very little from this endeavor. They’re kind of like Gladiators who’ve been invited to town to put on a show and what the audience’s don’t usually realize is that these “Gladiator/Filmmaker’s” have put their lives on the line to create their films. This is where we’re at with GHOST PHONE too.

So, we’ve Resurrected the name TAOS TALKING PICTURES (TTP) as a combination film festival and distribution co-op. Here’s how it will work…

We’re going to put out a call for entries for filmmaker’s to submit their films to TAOS TALKING PICTURES. We’re guessing we’ll get apx. 3,000 entries. We’re hoping that we’ll find at least 50 films out of these 3,000 which we think are inspired, innovative, stimulating and great stories to experience. The brand we hopes emerge is that we are discovering the next Tarantino, Linklater, Rodriquez, or maybe even a young Altman.

And with these first 50 films we will program our first Viral Film Festival which will serve as a combination festival and money-raiser to launch the TAOS TALKING PICTURE’S FILM CO-OP. It will take place as a KICK-STARTER CAMPAIGN where each film will be presented as a potential “Gift” on the site. So, there will be 50 different gifts in the form of films. The filmmaker whose film garners the most “Gift donations” will receive the Grand Prize of 5 Acres in Taos, NM.

What I’m theorizing is that by having 50 filmmaker’s driving their social media networks towards our KickStarter site, we will have a chance for a massive funding launch of the TAOS TALKING PICTURE’S FILM CO-OP. All 50 filmmakers will participate in the funding and profits of the TTP. Each of the 50 films participating in the first Resurrection of TTP will also have an opportunity for a theatrical release (as exemplified by GHOST PHONE) and we hope to have established a partnership of sorts for their World TV Premieres with one of the entities I referred to above. From their we work on selling the Co-op films to foreign territories and getting them effectively out into the world of Video on Demand (VOD) such as being available on iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, DirecTV, etc.

So our strength will come from the viral banding together of many filmmakers with the common goal of having their films both seen and making money on them so they can continue their careers.

Eventually, I believe we can use this viral strength in numbers to raise production funds for co-op members’ future films. We also plan to do a local version of the TTP Festival here in Taos.

We invite all of those people interested in the TTP to help us in launching this endeavor. Please feel free to contact us with your thoughts and desires along these lines. If you would please pass this on to those in your social media networks. Thanks for reading this whole thing.

Here’s a link to some of the old TTP publicity articles

THE HISTORY OF TAOS TALKING PICTURES LAND GRANT AWARD

http://www.taoslandandfilm.com/LandPrizePublcty.html

And here’s the GHOST PHONE trailer.

Muchos Gracias!

Jeff

Perdido: My Latest Film Project

Perdido

     I’m really excited about my next film project, PERDIDO, adapted from a novel by Taos, New Mexico author Rick Collignon. PERDIDO takes place in a small town in northern New Mexico and, like a Steinbeck novel, the characters and setting are equally important in telling the story. Will is a newcomer to Guadalupe, only living in the community for 17 years (many people in Guadalupe claim six or seven or more generations in the area).

     He’s been accepted as a resident but still considered an outsider, especially when he learns of the unsolved death, decades ago, of a young woman. He starts asking questions about the case, and the reactions from community members familiar with the case force him to confront his own lingering questions of how much he really is considered part of the community.

     Will and the dead woman are Anglo, in a community that is almost exclusively Hispanic and wary of outsiders of any ethnicity. These racial tensions come to the surface as Will begins to dig deeper into the mystery of the young woman’s death. Despite working, shopping, eating, drinking, playing baseball, and even sleeping with the locals for years, he discovers that he is just as much a newcomer now as he was when he first came to Taos. But he is still tolerated and not run out of town in the middle of the night by an armed mob, which sometimes happens in northern New Mexico.

     Anyone who’s ever moved to a new town knows what it’s like to adjust to new sights, sounds, smells, traffic patterns, people, and cultures. I’ve moved around quite a bit, growing up in Michigan, living in California, and now New Mexico. I’ve been able to carve out a niche among the creatives here by selling land to fund my independent films. I’ve also been accepted as a member of the Taos community, something that isn’t experienced by every newcomer. Perhaps that’s why PERDIDO interests me so much.

The more I read the novel–and I’ve lost count of how many times that is–the more I see Rick Collignon as the northern New Mexican Steinbeck. Both of their works are genuine, pulling no punches and pummeling the reader with the truth of the human experience, good and bad but always poetic.

I’ve been so moved by the power of the book that I optioned the rights almost immediately. This will be my first movie shot almost entirely in New Mexico, in my adopted home of Taos. I have my ideal cast in mind, and work actively several hours daily to reach out to those actors, some of the biggest performers in Hollywood and around the world.

     I envision Arron Paul (Jesse Pinkman on Breaking Bad) as Will. Edward James Olmos (Battlestar Galactica, Stand and Deliver, American Me) would be perfect as Telesfor, the wise storyteller. Benicio del Toro (Traffic) would bring Ray to life. I’ve already received a commitment from Sandra Echeverria (Casa de mi Padre, The Bridge, Savages) to play Will’s girlfriend, Lisa. I look forward to sharing any updates with you. In the meantime, have a wonderful day and thanks for reading my latest post!

P.S. You can read more about the book at the Unbridled Books publisher website. Buy the book, read it, and let me know what you think of it!

The Legend of Taos Mountain: Mumford & Sons Concert Inspires Taos Land Promotion

They say our little town of Taos is going to be inundated with 8-10,000 Mumford & Sons fans for their concert here in Kit Carson Park on Thursday, June 6th, 2013. We’re getting all excited here, kinda like when Dorothy showed up in the City of Oz. Munchkin’s running around trying to polish everything up for our new-comer friends to town. Many will be here discovering Taos for the first time.
And so, the Taos Land & Film Company is preparing to offer a few of you Taos-bound devotees a chance to Test the Mountain and take root in our community with your very own piece of land in Taos. So, we’re running a blitz of radio ads on KTAO and LUNA 103.7 over a four day period around the Mumford & Son’s Concert. What we’re offering you Taos virgins is an opportunity to buy a piece of land in Taos and receive a $5,000 discount off the parcel of land of your choice. This same offer will also stand for those of you who already live in Taos but haven’t gotten your own piece of land yet.

You can come to Taos to see Mumford & Sons, but The Mountain will decide if you can stay.

So, before I start babbling about each and every piece of land we have for sale and it’s history, I’d like to invite you to listen to our four different radio ads we’re planning to start running on Wednesday and tell us which one you prefer. Your four choices will be AD #1 delivered by local Taos Legend TODD GRAVELLE; AD #2 will be by my daughter RUBY JACKSON; AD #3 will be performed by one of our local thesbians, RITA O’CONNELL, (perhaps best known for her role as the Scare Crow in our recent theatrical version of The Wizard of Oz); and lastly AD #4 delivered by yours truly, JEFF JACKSON.  You can vote here and leave comments either here or on FACEBOOK.

AD #1: Todd Gravelle

AD #2: Ruby Jackson

AD #3: Rita O’Connell

AD #4: Jeff Jackson

The winning ad voice will receive a pizza and the adoration of the community because we’ll give their ad more play time. I was going to include the text for the radio ad, but I think I’ll just have you listen to them, since each one is slightly different. And please help us pass this on via the virility of FACEBOOK and other social media. And, sign up on our BLOG and maybe I’ll babble more on it.