NCF 2022 reflections

Neil Chase Film – 2022 Reflections

As it is the last day of 2022, I would like to take stock of what the previous 365 days had to offer; and in doing so, reflect on the good, the bad, and the in-between.

Like any other year, there were challenges and there were setbacks, but there were also amazing opportunities and wins, and I’d rather focus on the latter than the former.

The year started with a bang as I ventured into a field I knew little about, but always wanted to try – radio. The wonderful folks at Sound Sugar Radio had put out a call for people who wanted to do shows, and though I knew it would be a big commitment, I was up to the task, especially as it would mean talking about the things I love – movies, music, games, comics, and all things pop culture, through a storytelling lens. And the best part was that I would bring on people I admire who excel in their creative fields to have great discussions, learn a bunch, and have fun doing it!

It’s been a challenge to come up with a new show just about every week, and consistently bring on fresh guests, but All Outta Bubblegum is now a year in and I have spoken to guests from all over Canada and the US about writing, screenwriting, music, filmmaking, acting, directing, painting, comic books, wrestling, and a host of other great topics. They have taught me so much and I’m grateful to each of them for taking the time! And I can’t wait to bring on an even wider and varied group of artists and creatives in the coming year!

All Outta Bubblegum on Sound Sugar Radio

2022 was also a chance for me to talk to two different NY-based magazines – NY Glamour and NY Elite – about my writing and films, especially Boneyard Racers and Spin the Wheel.

As far as I’m concerned, Boneyard Racers will forever go down as “the little film that could” in that we made it with no budget and a ton of love and hard work by an absolutely amazing group of people, and the awards it amassed over the past two years is nothing short of incredible.

But what was even better was that it found a home on ShortsTV for worldwide distribution, thanks to the recommendation of the great folks at Crimson Screen Horror Film Festival. And fantastic write-ups in the Edmonton Journal, Horror Buzz, Muse Canada, and Horror Society were the best cherry on the top!

The festival circuit is full of incredible people – whether festival organizers, filmmakers, or fans – and our experience with places like Crimson Screen, Vegas Movie Awards, NOVA Fest, Motor City Nightmares,, Calgary Underground Film Festival, Hollywood Horrorfest, Hollywood Dreamz, Action on Film, Only the Best Film Awards, and especially Edmonton International Film Festival – among many others – only underscores that fact.

Boneyard Racers

We managed to parlay the success of Boneyard Racers into Spin the Wheel, a full-fledged apocalyptic fantasy thriller that is now so very close to starting its festival run. We’ve already had requests from a number of festivals to see it, and we can’t wait to share it with the world!

Things are looking up for Brimstone Pictures, where we value quality and storytelling above all else. And when you have as a fantastic cast and crew as we were lucky to have, then you feel like a winner right out of the gate.

I’m so thankful for everyone involved in this film, from my partners, Preston and David, to the many creatives and key personnel who have helped bring it to life – Brandon, Sara, Martin, Dianne, S-Raj, Lindsay, Tyler, David, Tre, Sonja, Griffin, Huereka, Kelly, Hugh, Therese, Karla, Sean, Olivia, Jamie, Sabina, Elizabeth, Kaela, Christina, Alain, Randal, Colleen, Daniel, Colwyn, and Shane (apologies if there are people I missed – it was a small army, and I so appreciate everyone who pitched in at any level). We hope we will make you all proud!

And though the post-production side of Spin has taken a large amount of my time (editing with David, color correcting and VFX with Brandon, and countless discussions with Preston about pretty much everything from sound to music to look and feel), I was also fortunate enough to have acted in a few films this year, and I hope the New Year brings fresh opportunities and film projects my way.

Spin the Wheel Movie

2022 was also a year where I got to flex my creative muscles with my upcoming novel, Dead Strays (based on my screenplay of the same name), as well as my mentoring and teaching muscles, both as a screenwriting instructor for FAVA and through my website Neil Chase Film, where I have tried to share the lessons I’ve learned over the years in order to help other writers and creatives tell their best stories. It’s been so rewarding, and the best part is that I feel like I’ve made lifelong friends along the way.

Seeing my website grow from an average of two people per month when I first started writing my articles this year to almost 70,000 visitors per month as the year comes to a close is nothing short of a miracle – and a ton of hard work. And I’m so grateful to my wife, Christina, for all her help with this endeavor. I simply wouldn’t be where I am without her.

And I’m excited about where the next year will take us as we expand our reach into untapped territories such as YouTube and online courses to help even more creatives with their storytelling pursuits.

As I’ve said before, I love the journey of discovery as much as the work itself, and it’s the best feeling to see that spark shine in someone’s eyes when over the course of our discussions, we discover something new that they hadn’t considered before. It’s a process of trust and honesty, and my greatest wish for any writer I help is to one day see their work on the screen or on a bookshelf. I always consider myself lucky to be part of that process.

Neil Chase Film

And finally, spending time with my family and friends is always the biggest highlight of any year, and I’m so thankful for each and every one of them in my life. Watching my girls do the things they love – whether dance or musical theatre or just being kids – is the greatest treasure and one I will hold onto for the rest of my life.

If anything, this year has taught me to treasure the time you have with your loved ones – it is a gift. So on that note, I’m so glad you’re all in my life, and I wish you nothing but the best 2023!

Happy New Year. May it be the best one yet for all of us!

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