January – March
The year began with rehearsals with the cast of a new short, Ransomed, written and directed by Ron King. Pre-production meetings for the project had commenced and location scouts had started when production was suspended in late March due to the pandemic. This production has been put on hold indefinitely and will be revisited once the pandemic is over. A revised version of the RMK Films website was completed and went live on new servers which promised to deliver a more seamless experience for visitors. RMK Films Inc. joined the Culver City Chamber of Commerce and President/CEO Ron King attended meetings where he met and networked with local business leaders. Major studios including Sony Pictures Entertainment and Amazon Studios are also members. Ludd Life, a new comedy series written by Daniel Hagen and Ron King was given a reading by actors at the Fire House, a community of writers/actors/directors developing new work in Hollywood. The material was well received and continues to be developed by Dan and Ron. Ron continued to consult with advisors Chip Houghton and Nick Spark and expanded networking opportunities by meeting with producer Ashley Hirt and story artist Christian Gossett. The Lafayette Escadrille, a feature length documentary produced by Humanus Documentary Films Foundation has its world premiere at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Ron is one of the Executive Producers on the new documentary.
April – June
The second quarter began under local pandemic lockdown conditions in Los Angeles and film production at RMK Films was shuttered until such time as health professionals confirm that it is safe to resume production. Though the entertainment industry did resume production later in the year under strict Covid-19 guidelines, RMK Films has elected to wait until conditions allow for safer operations and the pandemic has largely subsided in the U.S. RMK Films applied for and was approved for a forgivable loan from the Paycheck Protection Program authorized by congress to support small businesses during the pandemic. Significant progress on The Millionaires’ Unit, narrative scripted series was made with Ron and author Marc Wortman collaborating on scripts for a pilot episode and second episode. Ron also created 3-D models of the Curtiss Model-F flying boat, the primary aircraft used for training the Yale Unit and also models of the yachts, Whileaway and Shuttle in addition to the Huntington, Long Island base where the unit trained prior to their deployment in 1917. These models were made to be available for pre-visualization of scenes from the series and as part of the promotional process to get the series made. The feature film Fallout, written by Ron and Jessica Janos (Jessica will also direct) continued development with the recruitment of two producers; Ashley Hirt and Adriana Rotaru. Development on the Ludd Life, comedy series by Ron and Daniel Hagen continued with online improvisations featuring actors Daniel Hagen and Ben Horwitz. These improvs were specifically related to the development of one of the episodes in the series and the results will be utilized in drafting a script for that episode. Development of the script for the feature version of Visitor, continued with Ron now the primary writer and online Zoom meetings were conducted with Afghan War veterans through the auspices of the Mindful Veterans Project, an organization that supports veterans. The rise of the Black Lives Matter movement prompted RMK Films to produce a no-budget PSA short documentary, Black Lives Matter, utilizing footage from a protest which happened one block from the RMK Films office. Additionally, Ron collaborated with volunteers from around the country to contribute their voices to a reading of a long list of Black Americans who have experienced injustice in the hands of law enforcement and judicial systems. The PSA in support of Black Lives Matter was posted on YouTube. RMK Films also sponsored a free online screening of Rose is a Rose is a Rose, the award winning short written by Daniel Hagen and Ron King and directed by Ron. Following several days of free access to the short online, a live Q&A with members of the cast was livestreamed on YouTube.
July – September
In the third quarter, Oscar winning producer Fred Roos consulted with the Fallout team on next steps to move the project toward production. A pitch deck and fundraising strategy was developed for the project with door knocking to begin in the New Year. The Millionaires’ Unit pitch deck was reviewed and refined with the help of several producers and is being readied to roll out in early 2021. The TMU pilot script was reviewed and recommended for consideration by FR Productions (Fred Roos). Ron also connected with Visual Effects houses Weta Digital and Clearcut FX for help with budgeting the visual effects in Fallout.
October – December
The fourth quarter saw Visitor, (short) accepted into the Best Short Fest and was invited to screen online with the Holly Shorts festival in 2021. Development of the feature version of Visitor continued with Ron writing the script. Ron also connected with Major Peterson at the nearby U.S. Marine base, Camp Pendleton, as part of his research for Visitor. In 2021 RMK Films will visit the base, be given a tour, learn about counter-insurgency training and military equipment in an effort to portray authenticity in the script. A finished first draft of Visitor, (feature) is expected in the first quarter of 2021 and a pitch deck and sales strategy will also commence during this time. The quarter ended with a pitch deck for Fallout nearing completion and being prepped for rollout in 2021 – production for Fallout is targeted to begin late in the year.
RMK Films wishes everyone a safe and healthy 2021! See you in the movies!