About this project
Anastasia has been written up in Entertainment Weekly!!!
Anastasia was also written up on Vice.com!!!
Anastasia is in Time Magazine!!!
Anastasia has a piece in the Huffington Post!!!
And still another wonderful article in TV Buzz!!
Being as up front as I can be, Val Kilmer tweeted this on 7/16/14:
@valekilmer did you see there's a goofball on kickstarter wants to make a sequel to breakingbad starring me? Americans are never happy with a good thing.
I tweeted back: Really? Bryan Cranston Drops Crazy 'Breaking Bad' Hint In CNN May, 2014
And also: Your agent couldn't have emailed me back saying that you weren't interested? Instead you call me a goofball? You don't even know me.
I'm getting a lot of questions about Val Kilmer's tweet and simply put, him calling me a goofball is what it is.
What really pisses me off is that he completely dissed Ms. Jana Mashonee by tweeting that in the first place. She has 2 Grammy nominations, 10 Nammys, she has performed for President Obama, and the First Lady Laura Bush. Her movie, the Dinosaur Experiment, made back it's money in 3 1/2 days. The last time I checked they've doubled their money. She sang in 10 different American Indian languages on her Christmas album. She agreed to do the Anastasia pilot, and Val Kilmer wiped his ass with her decision by tweeting that.
Secondly is his completely negative comment about Americans. I am a veteran, and although I expect zero special treatment because of it, I do expect another American to respect this country and it's citizens. Yes we as Americans do strive to keep going, to make this the best country on earth.
Also, Mr Kilmer completely wiped his ass with the fact that Anastasia is hiring American combat veterans to play the 7 police officers in the pilot. He should have had the decency, and respect for those veterans, many of whom have sacrificed everything, by keeping his mouth shut rather than trivialize the project. Enough said.
Peter Falk in Colombo, Tony Shaloub in Monk, Vincent D’Onofrio in Law and Order, and now comes Val Kilmer in Anastasia.
Kilmer’s incredible talents and personality will make this a mega hit. Colombo and Monk had an intriguing theme, wherein they both had a unique comedic quirk to their personality. That personality was coupled to a genius detective ability, that kept the viewers coming back. Anastasia will carry that successful tradition on.
Kilmer and Slash breakout in 'Fearful Symmetry' the pilot for Anastasia, as an elite US Marshals team, that tracks down the most elusive and dangerous fugitives that are on the run.
But one fugitive has even them baffled, since they first have to answer the question, is he even alive?
Kilmer and Slash have another huge problem, that will become very apparent in the opening scene of 'Fearful Symmetry.'
There will be regular 12 step meeting scenes in Anastasia that Kilmer attends. We will invite stars in the entertainment industry who are in recovery themselves. Russell Brand, Jamie Lee Curtis, Steven Tyler, Dick Van Dyke, Drew Barrymore, Robert Downey Jr., Robin Williams, Neil Young, Eminem, on and on.
These will be guest appearances on separate episodes, and the star would be told that all the dialogue they use will be completely created by them.
I am confident these appearances will elevate Anastasia to an even higher level of quality and randomness.
Some guest stars will be in full make up/prosthetics throughout the show, and we will only reveal who they are at the end!
Think of ‘The List of Adrian Messenger’ movie. When they appear in the intro, the tag line will say: Guest Starring?
They of course are fugitives that Kilmer and Slash are chasing, who have had plastic surgery!
Val Kilmer will decide and create the quirkiness that his character, Donovan Baker, has. Peter Falk created the Colombo character almost in its entirety, with obvious great success.
Slash will stay in the ‘Slash’ character, which will enable another writing venue as he will always be undercover. He is Kilmer’s partner, and Jana Mashonee is Slash’s girlfriend. Who doesn't want to see Slash with a Glock sticking out from under that jacket? Come on!
Jana Mashonee speaks numerous Native American languages as well as English. She is an accomplished singer and musician. We are looking forward to Slash and Mashonee getting together later in the seasons, and creating some unique and amazing music, she's also very beautiful!
Slash will be the music director/creator for the show.
Meet Anastasia's director!
Born and raised in Boston, MA, Jonathan Salemi is a Director/Producer best known for his short film "Sidewalk Symphony"(2010) that has been seen on PBS, played at two Academy Award qualifying film festivals, and was a winner at the Boston International Film Festival.
Jonathan's journey started soon after his internship at Sony Picture Studios for Oscar winning Producer Douglas Wick (Gladiator, Stuart Little, Memoirs of a Geisha). He went on to Direct, Produce, Write and self finance his first feature film "Ante Up" (2009). The super 16mm comedic romp went on to premiere at
The Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, CA and later played for a limited run at the prestigious Laemmle Sunset 5 in Hollywood, CA.
Currently, two of his films are playing at Academy Award qualifying film festivals, “A Truth in Silence” at the LA ShortsFest on July 26thand “Chasing the Past” at The Rhode Island International Film Festival in early August.
Anastasia will employ this nation's returning heroes!
A public service announcement will air right after the pilot, utilizing one of the stars.
“Ladies and gentlemen, Anastasia is proud and honored to have this nation’s veterans acting on our show.” “All of the police officers you just saw are combat veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.”
I want the pilot to air the Monday before Halloween.
All ten of the first season's scripts are finished along with the treatment.
Page 1 and 2 from the pilot's script.
Please note Kickstarter doesn't provide for indentation, (people in the industry get touchy about that!)
TITLE: FEARFUL SYMMETRY
INT. - METH LAB - NIGHT
We see what appears to be Walter White (WW), lying on the lab floor. WW’s face is visible. Police officer BARNES (20s to 30s, is standing at his feet.
Shouts are heard from outside the meth lab from the other police officers.
Holy crap! Jesus!
I need a perimeter set up here ASAP!
Move out Barnes!
Officer Barnes runs towards the other officers who are outside.
Four seconds elapse, and we see a person walk up to WW, (we cannot determine gender or their identity), and unknown person reaches down and grabs WW’s legs at the ankles.
That person then drags WW out, away from the direction the police officers have gone.
WW’s body leaves a small blood trail/smear.
END OF TEASER
ANASTASIA’S INTRO PLAYS
EXT. - COMPOUND - NIGHT
We see police officers moving towards the club house from different angles, (crouched, guns drawn).
One officer is making combat signals to the other officers with his/her hands, directing them where to go and set up.
Another officer is crouched up against the Cadillac; we see a slight flame coming from the trunk. Officer peers over trunk of the caddy, and sees the M60 machine gun rotating by itself.
Officer quickly crouches down, gives combat signals to the other officers.
They in turn set up a fanning cover perimeter, for two others to move towards the windows of the clubhouse.
Those officers rise up and peer in the clubhouse windows with shoulder aimed weapons drawn.
One of the officers makes a cutting motion across his neck and points towards the Cadillac.
We see inside the Cadillac’s trunk and an officer pulls the ground wire from the battery, stopping the machine gun’s movement. He/she then flips up the receiver of the M60. Then the officer gives a thumbs up motion towards the others.
There that should get your interest going!
Post Anastasia all over the internet! Talk it up with your friends and family! Keep posting it!
My Twitter feed is Larry Shepherd @thewolfinmaine, where you can get immediate updates on Anastasia!
Risks and challenges
Why $500,000? A half a million? Are you crazy dude? We aim to make a pilot for $500,000 that looks every bit as good as one filmed for $2 million, and the team is in place to do it.
Here's how the budget breaks down:
$200-$220,00 total for production costs
$280-$300,000 total for actor's salaries
We are filming the pilot in Ventura County, CA, (right next door to Los Angeles). Ventura has everything we need to get it done, and it's close proximity to Hollywood and Burbank, put's us right in the middle of all the talent we need to get it done.
I've been to Albuquerque NM many times, and it will be easy to make the Ventura area look alike.
80% of the pilot is at night, so our lighting costs will be the most crucial issue of the budget, since they will be high.
I am going to push very hard to get the subsequent seasons filmed in Ventura as well when we get picked up. Now California isn't even in the same universe, let alone the same ballpark, as most of the other states, when it comes to the incentives they offer film productions. That's one of the reasons why Hollywood is dying.
But Val Kilmer, Slash, and all of the production crew, live in the LA area. So when I have to negotiate salaries, I really want to be able to offer them the ability to be home every night after filming. That's quite an incentive, considering so many shows are being filmed in Canada, Atlanta, New York City, and Louisiana.
I personally have always enjoyed movies, and TV shows, with well written twist and turns in the plot. And the good 'who dun it's' have always been my favorites.
I called John Westphal, the Senior VP of Development at Sony, in 2013, and proposed to him what I wanted to do. He was very gracious, I mean the guy was under no obligation at all to even call me back, but he did. I knew upfront, he was expecting me to give him the '20 seconds in an elevator' crap. I don't do 20 seconds in an elevator, It's not my style at all.
What really surprised me actually, was when I sent out the scripts to many people in the industry. No one came back and said, 'Dude, don't quit your day job!' I received a lot of very positive feedback remarks about my ideas.
Now understand that I have zero approval from Vince Gilligan and Sony to do this. I realized very early on in the project, that unless you want to go into a depressing, downward, emotional spiral, don't include anyone in the entertainment industry!
It doesn't matter if your selling lemonade, or making a Pirates of the Caribbean movie, money talks and BS walks. It's the same in ANY business endeavor.
The entire plan from day one is to make the pilot, and then present it to Sony and Vince Gilligan for approval. Absolutely no guarantees here at all folks. But, we are filming the pilot, Breaking Bad dependent, and independent. So if we do get a no, we will be prepared to go forward anyway.
But think about it.
We have two VERY intriguing threads here:
1. Is Walter White even alive?
2. Who the hell drug him out of there?
There will be clues throughout the series for the fans. The pilot has a HUGE clue itself, but right now, only one other person besides myself know's who it is.
But you must realize that Anastasia is a stand alone show in itself.
The way I like to explain it is, in season one (1) we are grabbing our boards, and riding the wave Breaking Bad created. But in doing that, we are creating our own wave, and Breaking Bad is invited to ride along with us.
I have been asked many times how I overcome all the negative, adverse remarks, I get from people in the entertainment industry, since I started Anastasia.
I am named after my uncle Larry. He was a Guadalcanal veteran, Navy chief, welterweight champ of his division, he flew on PBY's during WWII, a Shriner, guitarist and singer. He also started the Sierra Madre Search and Rescue Team, along with Fred Lalone, in 1951.
During the first few years, every time they showed up at rescue missions, they were met with negativity. The Sheriff's dept told them to, 'Leave, get out of here, you have nothing to offer, you don' t know what your doing.' Today the Sierra Madre team is one of the most well known, and prestigious volunteer rescue teams in the country. But the story doesn't end there.
When he retired, my uncle put his name in with the San Bernardino County Sheriff's dept. for rescue missions. One day he got a call and he promptly showed up at the site. There were dozens of rescuers, four wheel drive vehicles, quads, and a helicopter already in place. He saw the sheriff that called him and he walked up to let him know he was there.
The sheriff was talking to the man who was heading up the rescue operation, and when he saw my uncle, he immediately debased his presence. "What's he doing here?" "He can't be of any help at all." When he walked away he shot my uncle a nasty glance.
The sheriff told my uncle that an elderly woman with Alzheimer's had wandered off, had already spent one night in the desert, and they desperately wanted to find her before night fell again. My uncle said he would do what he could.
At 79 years of age, he found the woman all by himself. Unfortunately she had died during the night before. I won't tell you how he did it, because I wrote exactly what happened into the first season's scripts.
My uncle was an amazing person, who overcame incredible poverty when he was growing up, to become the man he was. Every time I hear the negativity, and the nasty remarks, I think of him and it all becomes easy.
Penn Jillete (of Penn and Teller Fame) recently financed his movie, 'Director's Cut' on a crowd funding site like Kickstarter. I love what he wrote for an update:
'When you try to finance a movie through the traditional studio system, you've got to kiss a whole lot of ass. I don’t mind kissing ass, I often enjoy kissing ass, but I like to have some choice over which asses I kiss and some studio people can be a bit . . . um . . . smug. They make their living convincing some people they know what other people want to see.
They have to believe they know what you want to see. And they’re right often enough to make a living, they make blockbusters. But, there’s a lot of good that they can’t imagine. There’s a lot of good that isn't like something that came before it. There’s a lot of good that’s risky and crazy.
With Director’s Cut, I’m asking YOU to be the studio. I want to kiss your ass. I’m asking YOU to help me get this movie made. In return YOU deserve to get everything a studio wants and gets.'
Remember folks, Vince Gilligan couldn't sell Breaking Bad. A friend of his at Sony took an interest, but even Sony couldn't sell it. If AMC hadn't been switching over from just running old classic movies, to their own programming, Breaking Bad may not have ever happened.
It's your turn to be the studio!
Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
I'm getting this question all the time. Rob Thomas did not have any of the rights from Warner Bros, for Veronica Mars, before he launched his kickstarter project. He merely contacted them beforehand and notified them of his intentions, exactly the way I did it.