Perfect Platform for a Premiere

March 10th, 2011
Jerry blocking out a scene with Doug Frasure

Jerry blocking out a scene with Doug Frasure

Our independent feature film, Beautiful Noise, has been accepted into the Sarasota Film Festival for its world premiere.  The rough cut impressed the panel of judges & the festival’s artistic director, Tom Hall who with the festival’s programmers has scheduled Beautiful Noise to be showcased an unprecedented 6 times over the 12 day event.  This means that if every show & every seat gets filled, we will have set a festival box office record of over 1,500 viewers.

Artistic director Hall informed our director, Steve Tatone, that the committee is prepared to add additional screenings if the demand is present.  The team is really excited over the news & feels honored to be represented by their home town in such a fashion.

The premiere of Beautiful Noise’s first screening at the festival is April 9th at 7:00 p.m. in downtown Sarasota at the Hollywood 20 theatres.  After the first viewing, Steve Tatone will conduct a Q & A session for those who would like to stay after & learn about our film.  For more information about Beautiful Noise & the Sarasota Film Festival, please visit  Tickets officially go on sale on March 18th.

Jerry, our creative director & the film’s production designer & first assistant director had this to say about the honor, “I am, as well as my crewmates & the actors, very humbled & excited about the festival’s warm reception to our film.  I hope that this aides in the recognition of Sarasota’s film community to the rest of the industry that we have a great deal to offer here.”  If you would like to learn more about the film, visit

The Wedding Book

February 17th, 2011

Illum is partnering up with Studio 26 Weddings to produce a commercial for the Anna Maria Island Wedding Festival.

The commercial will consist of animated elements that create a wedding flip book. The flip book will house multiple images of various wedding festivities, cakes, couples & outdoor fun while informing the viewer of the 4th Annual Festival.

The commercial will air over several local cable channels across Southwest Florida.

Abu Dhabi

February 17th, 2011

Illum has been contracted by Dale Ryan, NHP to create a virtual architectural presentation for the crown prince of Abu Dhabi. The presentation will consist of several images of an existing structure in Europe that is part of the Sheffield Winter & Peace Gardens. It will also present an imagined structure utilizing the same archetype as the European structure that will become an addition to the existing Gymnasium on the palace grounds.

Dale Ryan is an entrepreneur that designs architectural buildings all over the world, most recently in Thailand that utilizes curved laminated recycled lumber creating stunning curvilinear shapes that is structurally more resistant to monsoon winds. The corporation also designs & manufactures composite rail ties for the railroad systems & is in concept phase for a revolutionary project that will span across many business sectors.

Illum is excited about this endeavor & looks forward to a long, mutually beneficial relationship with Mr. Ryan & his corporation.

The William G. & Marie Selby Foundation – The Selby Scholar Symposium

December 29th, 2010

Jerry has been asked by the William G. & Marie Selby Foundation to be a mentor/partner to the selected student from the Computer Animation department at Ringling College. Each year in December The William G. & Marie Selby Foundation sponsors The Selby Scholar Symposium for students in the Selby Scholarship Program. The program was created in 2000 & 35 students are selected annually from Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and Desoto counties.

Each student receives one third of their financial need up to $7,000 per year. They are chosen by a panel of community members based on demonstrated financial need, academic performance & leadership potential. As one of the student’s scholarship requirements they must attend this symposium where they will be paired with a community leader from their field of study. “I enjoy assisting in the futures of such talented & driven students so I am honored the Foundation selected me to partner with Michelle Le.” stated Jerry.

The symposium lunch features a keynote speaker to inform both the students and community leaders about 21st Century trends in the workplace and community service. This year the guest speaker is Beverly Alter, a professional trainer in career counseling techniques, world of work value & personal marketing campaigns. Beverly is a recognized keynote speaker & workshop facilitator for national conferences throughout the U.S.

Ringling College – Networking & Mentoring Panel

November 16th, 2010

Jerry has been invited to speak at Ringling College’s Networking & Mentoring Panel for their Professional Communication & Presentation class.  The class is to assist students in their preparatory skills in the job market.

The ‘Fishbowl’ is designed with industry professionals in a circle & the students surrounding the professionals.  The moderator presents the professionals a series of questions followed by the students pertaining to mentoring & networking in business.  This gives the students an opportunity to discuss the rigors of working in the business world, how networking helps business practices & the benefits of an industry mentor & how they can help shape their future careers.

Hosted by Eric Paul Engel, executive director of Ketchcom Development, Inc., & professor for the class, the Networking & Mentoring Fishbowl takes place on the Ringling campus on November 17th.  The seminar is part of the colleges Professional Communication & Presentation curriculum.

Jerry states, “I am happy to be a part of this seminar & share my networking & mentoring experiences with the students.  I feel it is important for them to develop these skills along with their artistic abilities; it will help them to become more well-rounded business people.”

Suncoast Polytechnical High School Job Shadowing Program

November 12th, 2010

Illum’s Animation & Creative Director, has been asked to speak at Suncoast Polytechnical High School during their Job Shadowing program.  Suncoast Polytechnical High School is a technology magnet high school for students throughout Sarasota County. The school’s college-preparatory curriculum is integrated within an economics & business core.  SPHS students study subjects as diverse as Architectural Drafting, Practical Nursing & Commercial Foods and Culinary Art.  Other programs, such as Biomedical Science, Game Art and Animation, & Geographic Information Systems Technology, are offered exclusively to SPHS students in addition to the standard Florida high school curriculum.

Jerry will be speaking to the Game Art & Animation students which will be comprised of 10th & 11th grade students.  Jerry had been involved with the high school since its inception & had a hand at assisting in the original curriculum.  Since the school had opened its doors, Jerry worked closely with Cathie Janssen who teaches the program.  “Cathie first approached me & my company for a real world approach to complement the existing syllabus.  We worked through basic animation principles, exercises & how the software could compliment them.”  states Jerry. “Now I have been asked to come address the students, which is exciting to me because I will get to see how they have grown in the program & how I had an indirect hand in their education.”

Jerry plans on showing the class a variety of real world examples from Illum’s portfolio, discuss with the class more in-depth animation principles & the benefit of reference material.  “If these students are as excited about animation as my colleagues & I was during college, the interaction will be beneficial & a lot of fun.” says Jerry.

89 Locations & Growing

October 14th, 2010

Gas America Services Incorporated is teaming up with Illum Productions to expand their commercial broadcast initiative.

Gas America is family owned & has been operating in the Indiana & Ohio core since 1916 with 89 locations.  They are looking to expand even further into their demographic & through a series of broadcast commercials they hope to achieve their goal.  Illum was asked to put a fresh spin onto their identity by converting it to 3d & animating the identity for their multimedia branding throughout their broadcast & web production initiatives.

The company hopes to release their commercials by the end of the year.

Are we Beautiful or Whhuuuuuht?

October 12th, 2010

The title of this blog comes from a semi-private joke that came from on our set toward the end of principal, but it provides a reminder of the delirious fun we all had while working on this production.  I felt it necessary to write this post myself to reminisce on the past two weeks that completed our Sarasota film.

So it’s official. Principal photography is completed on Beautiful Noise. We had an insane production schedule; however our crew & cast pulled out all the stops to help make this production a reality.  I don’t think I have ever worked with a more dedicated group of people, collaborators really, to pull off a production schedule such as the one we had on this film.

It is exhilarating to find a group of creative people that you share much in common without even realizing it.  As my role was officially assistant director/production designer, as with many indie films, you really wear many more hats.  Fortunately my style & personality blended extremely well with my first unit crew of John Goodbrad, director of photography & Shawn McCarty, DIT & together we collaborated on several of the film’s compositions & lighting schemes that became the canvas of Beautiful Noise.  On a few occasions since we didn’t always have a second unit crew, I would step in & shoot on the Red camera as John was buzzing through set running the Canon with his stedi-cam rig.  As many well know, taking over certain DP responsibilities is not an easy feat as styles & egos can clash on a production of this size.  However everyone was open & gracious in their work ethic & approach & even though we were burning upwards of 15 hours on certain days, our on set antics & camaraderie made the days fly by.  

As the first production week rushed by, I also found our director to be open & eager to conversation, collaboration & assistance in staging scenes & directing the actors to pull the best out of their performances toward the emotion that Steve had written on the pages of his script.  As a first time film director, he came in with a fierce excitement that takes all of us our first time in, but as the days went by, Steve worked into a groove that showed confidence & openness to his team’s help & suggestions.  I enjoyed our conversations about staging, economy, body language & performance.  I believe that the actors read our collaboration as well because they took what we both suggested & provoked performances that will have audiences laughing, crying & cheering alongside them.

The schedule saved the best for last as the musical performances were on the tail end of our production.  I feel this invigorated the crew even more as the lack of sleep was wearing on everyone.  Danielle White performed ‘Easy’, an upbeat tune that had everyone on their feet & some extras dancing.  She is a true songstress in every since of the word & can melt your heart with a subtle change of expression as she sings through the lyrics.  Chris McCarty’s ‘Butterfly’ was soulful & touching.  This man has a gift that had many with dropped jaws.  I don’t believe that there is anything this musician can’t do.  Then there’s the team of Kimber Cleveland & Doug Frasure, the couple who wrote most of the original music for this film.  Their stage presence & charisma is undeniable.  Doug’s animated expressions on the drums shows that he is right in his element & loves every bit of it.  Kimber is a pure pleasure to watch as she performed her song ‘Sorry’.  Her eyes & smile tell the whole story as she entertained the crowd.  Many of us forgot we were even working when we were filming these scenes.

I would have to say though, without a doubt that Wednesday’s shoot was by far the most exciting of the production.  Shooting at Riverview’s Performing Arts Center & having the senior class film students as our production assistants was a joy.  We took a couple of students & paired them with various crew pertaining to their interests.  As we staged, composed & directed the shots, we also taught & fielded questions from the students which made the day a pleasure.  These students were eager to know as much as they could from us & stayed by our sides throughout the shoot.  

Onto our finale concert performance welcoming back the main star.  Jay White is a man completely immersed in his element.  He electrified the stage & conducted the audience to cheers & applause.  This is no easy feat as we had Jay perform ‘Free Man in Paris’ at least 7 times to catch all the angles we wanted for the edit.  Each time we called cut & began setting up the next shot, Jay would break out into his Neil Diamond show tunes & the audience loved it, students, teachers & parents alike. Jay is getting the acting method down but performing is where Jay lives & he is spectacular at it.

Trailers & Music Videos Oh My…

September 24th, 2010

Last evening Midnight Pass Productions officiated the first viewing of our trailer ‘Beautiful Noise’ to a select group of people prominent in Sarasota.  The response was wonderful & everyone loved the music video from the movie, ‘Lonely Hearts’.  Some even had a bit of welling in the eyes after watching it.  Many of our guests said that they loved how we showcased the beauty of Sarasota & the performances by our actors were amazing.

Jerry, our creative director & Beautiful Noise’s Assistant Director said, “We are excited about the positive response we have received thus far & are eager to jump back into production next Monday. We have many great Sarasota locations we are filming at & everyone has gone out of their way to assist us in making this ‘Sarasota’ film a reality.”

Production on the film resumes this coming Monday the 27th.  After several weeks of pre-production the crew is ready to jump back into the meat of the script.  “We have an extremely aggressive schedule on this next phase of production,” John Goodbrad, the film’s DP said, “but we have worked hard on laying the schedule & the shots out with Jerry & with a positive crew, we could see it through.”

This film will be the start of many coming from Midnight Pass Productions, all of which are planned to film in Sarasota.  “It is important for us to show what is capable in our city,” Jerry stated.  “We have a great community full of talented individuals who want to see this industry build up here & show that we can be more than a vacation destination.  I believe this film can assist in the cause.”

To see the first trailer & music video from the film, visit

Access & Insights

September 9th, 2010

News Reporter, Ray Collins from Access Sarasota channel 19 visited the music studio, Top Secret, to check in on Steve Tatone, director of Beautiful Noise & to interview him about the production. 

Along with Steve were owners of Top Secret Studios, Roger & Mo who have been instrumental in developing the music for the movie’s soundtrack.

Rounding out the group was our own creative director, Jerry who serves as the film’s assistant director, production designer & creative consult.

The interview will air this Friday evening the 10th of September at 7:30 p.m. eastern standard time.  The clip will be aired on local Comcast 19 & Verizon 32.  Come check it out!