January – March
The first quarter saw substantial development on both The Millionaires’ Unit – Limited Series project and the Viztor feature film project. On TMU, the focus was on script revisions for the pilot episode and preparations began for casting a virtual table read by a group of talented actors. The purpose of the table read was intended to allow writers Ron King and Marc Wortman to hear their words brought to life by actors and to see what was and was not working. Ron continued to develop 3D models of significant set pieces in Blender for the series to help with pre-visualization as the filmmakers build out the pitch deck. A great deal of research was undertaken by Ron in the process of writing his first draft of Viztor, including getting in touch with the Marines at Camp Pendleton in an effort to bring authenticity to scenes set in San Diego and Afghanistan during the early years of the war there. The Fallout feature film project was submitted to the Sundance producers lab and new story art for the opening sequence of the film was created by Lee Smith. Ron received a 4K scan of a film he shot in 1979 in Pittsburgh while a student at Carnegie-Mellon. The short Super-8 film boasted a cast featuring future Oscar winner Holly Hunter, Patrick Dunster, Brian Foley and an early incarnation of the roots-rock band, The Rave-Ups. Late in the quarter, planning was begun for a Spring Cinema Showcase of short films including, Rose is a Rose is a Rose and Visitor, both directed by Ron King. Ron also attended the Director’s Close-Up 2021 program presented, virtually this year, by Film Independent.
April – June
The second quarter saw further development on The Millionaires’ Unit – Limited Series project culminating in a virtual table read of the pilot episode on May 16th. This was the first time writers Marc Wortman and Ron King, heard their words read by a group of exceptionally talented actors including Eddie King, Daniel Hagen, Carla Wynn, Caroline Carrigan, Alexander Cook, Ben Horwitz, Elizabeth Lanier, Lauren Maria Medina, Clementine Wurzbach, Michael Leadbetter, Chris Chene, Major Curda & Matt Kirschner. The reading was intended as part of the script development process and the actors generously donated their time for the effort.
In June, writer/director Ron King along with actor Eddie King visited Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton to conduct research for the feature film, Viztor. Major Joe Patterson, Director, Communication Directorate Los Angeles, escorted Ron & Eddie though the base to look at early Afghan War era equipment and to try on armor and backpack equipment used by Marines on patrol. Major Patterson shared some of his personal experiences in Afghanistan during his multiple tours of duty there. He also reviewed several drafts of Ron’s script and provided notes to help make the scenes more authentic.
In June, a test shoot with the marvelous costume designed and fabricated by Costume Designer, Swinda Reichelt was conducted in the Angeles Crest. The purpose of the test was to give Fallout writer/director Jessica Janos a sense of what the wardrobe would look like on location. The images can also help potential investors understand Jessica’s vision for the project which tells the story of Alex, a man who returns to New York City following a thirty year period of survival in the wilds of the Adirondack wilderness. Actor Ron King, (Alex), modeled the wardrobe for the filmmakers. More info on this project can be found here on Jessica’s website.
July – September
The third quarter saw continued development on the feature film script for Viztor. The script began circulating for feedback from other film artists. Following the receipt of feedback, additional changes were made and development will continue into 2022. Viztor is an expanded version of the original story explored in Ron King’s twelve minute short, Visitor. The expanded tale looks at the long term consequences of lead character Leon Archer’s (Eddie King), experience as a Marine in the War in Afghanistan and his quest to reunite his splintered family. Set primarily in 2044, Leon’s mental/emotional illness is treated by medical professionals utilizing derivatives of a heretofore unknown botanical.
Visitations story board image by Ron King
Storyboards for the music video, Visitations, were created by Ron King in anticipation of filming in the coming months. The visuals which will conjoin with the recording made by Alex Wright of his original composition, featuring the musical talents of Helen Rose and Kramer Sanguinetti. As the team worked on plans for production, Ron also researched equipment necessary to work in the rapidly expanding Virtual Production/Mixed Reality space on an indie level. The storyboard image above, which will appear at the end of the video, will eventually be replaced by a photorealistic virtual set created with the aide of Unreal Engine and 3D digital assets. RMK Films believes that Virtual Production/Mixed Reality will become a common production technique for filmmakers of all stripes in the not too distant future.
The final quarter saw continued development on all projects previously mentioned. The Millionaires’ Unit – Limited Series creative team of Marc Wortman and Ron King were very excited to officially welcome Head of Story, Story Artist, Director/Producer Christian Gossett to the creative team. Moving into 2022, the team will be pitching the project to agents, acting and directing talent and streamers/studios – all in an effort to find the best home for the scripted narrative version of this amazing true story of the first U.S. naval aviators during World War One. In October, Ron King attended the American Film Market which was held virtually this year and focused on distribution in an industry hungry for content. One of the biggest take-aways from the event is that the next five years, at least, will be a great time for content creators as the world tries to get its head around the ever expanding demand for content. The year concluded with a shoot in New Haven with Marc Wortman and a location scout in the Tupper Lake region of the Adirondacks where writer/director Jessica Janos and writer/actor Ron King hope to shoot the opening segment of Fallout.