Friday, October 26, 2012

In the eye of the storm!

While we have received great interest from numerous independent distributors for "Collar", we have yet to have an bona fide financial offer that would make it worth our while. We are in the process of re-evaulating all offers, and having our product returned from those not seriously interested in supporting domestic distribution. Due to the highly charged political content -- and this is an election year -- we do not anticipate seeing any real offers before November 6, and we continue to develop our own distribution campaign to complete the plan itself and implement the marketing of the film. We are looking for funding through indiegogo! Check it out at!

In the meantime, additional footage was shot for "Chasing G", and we continue to prepare the full half-hour version (22 minutes) of the program. You will be able to see an abbreviated version at the "Chasing G" website, sometime this weekend. The final version comes out Wednesday, October 31. Willy Gilly is already working on the additional episodes ordered by executive producer Gary Corts! (And by the way, on Halloween, stop by HVPb at 128 Dolson Avenue in Middletown, and grab yourself a tricks!)

David met yesterday with Paul Ellis of the Sugar Loaf Performing Arts Center (formerly the Lycian Theatre). They discussed the possibility of the theatre housing several Willy Gilly productions, as well as working cooperatively to expand the programs of Acting Anyone Academy and the SLPAC. We are looking at an opening (probably "Supper With Ja") early next spring, followed immediately by two other plays. The two parties did agree in spirit to work jointly to seek sponsors for the mostly-underused facility: a beautiful, "legit"-sized house that deserves a better fate than it currently is experiencing. The venue has been recently spruced up and is in the process of total rehabilitation. We look forward to seeing the results and working with the SLPAC!

Also, we are awaiting a green light from a Chicago-based financial group to commence casting and pre-production of "A Hustler's Life". We anticipate that 95% of the financing ($5.7 million) will come from that source, with local investors providing the balance ($300,000). All things being equal, shooting should commence early next year. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Bridge work

This morning, Nan attended the Tappan Zee Project's workforce and business needs meeting, held by the Rockland Workforce Investment Board, in the technical building at Rockland Community College. The purpose of this meeting was to share information about this multi-year Project's impact on the local workforce and businesses, and to begin a coordinated local and regional approach to job fulfillment and business-to-business connectivity.

Brian Coneybeare, special advisor to the governor on the TZ Bridge, Karen Rae, the NYS deputy secretary of transportation; and Ross Pepe, president of the Hudson Valley Constuction Industry Council made up the panel. It is anticipated that this projectwill bring upwards of 45,000 jobs to the Hudson Valley! The successful bidder will be named before the end of the year. Work on the piles in the Hudson will not begin until August 2013, as dredging in the river is not permitted until that time. The heads of the various workforce investment boards plan on meeting with Kelly McMillen to formulate a strategy of job training and apprenticeship, so that the workforce will be ready when the project commences.

Willy Gilly will be bidding on the opportunity of producing the documentary on the building of the new bridge. We will also be working with the various WIBs to expand our training program for below-the-line talent.

Meanwhile, our Indian producer clients have ordered additional rewrites on "36 Hours" that could slow the casting process somewhat; nonetheless, the producers believe that they will complete development and pre-production, including major casting, by the first of the year. (Willy Gilly would like to wish them a happy Dussehra, which is the last day of the Festival of Navaratri, celebrating the victory of Rama over Ravana in Indian lore.)

Moving ahead with "Chasing G", the opening segment of the full 'pilot' program is nearing completion, and will be posted on later this week, and on the new Chasing G site, being constructed by Dropline Design, early next week. The producers already have interest from two major networks: one broadcast, one cable. Based on what they've seen, the executive producers have already ordered additional episodes from Willy watch out!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Bill me later

Yesterday afternoon, on the way to memorial services for William St. George, held at the First Reformed Church in Slate Hill, NY, the sun was setting. As it sank below the horizon, the clouds formed what looked like a stairway to heaven. As we gazed at the amazing sunset, there on those stairs, we could have sworn we saw Bill, struggling somewhat, reaching his final destination. And although we could clearly see that it was him, we could not determine the cause of his struggle...either he was reluctant to leave (and we're sure he was), or if he was just trying to fix the rail on the stairs; no doubt that's what Bill would have done, if it needed it.

When we got to the church, there were hundreds of people -- lined out the doors, onto the grounds, in the kitchen, everywhere -- all there to pay homage to one of the finest human beings we've ever known. It occured to us in that moment that he was playing to the biggest crowd he'd ever had! A great way to exit...and a tough act to follow. Unfortunately, he doesn't get to do an encore. Vaya con dios, amigo...and we'll catch you on the flip side!

Meanwhile, we will be meeting with Paul Ellis of the Sugar Loaf Performing Arts Center on Thursday, October 25, to discuss whether SLPAC will be the venue for Willy Gilly's first stage production! Although we cannot name the play at this time, we can say it will be a comedy with the entire cast selected from actors trained locally! This is home-grown theatre at its best; the play itself is not only pertinent, but extremely funny! Stay tuned!

On the feature front, we are one step closer to funding "A Hustler's Life"! The Chicago-based finance group that has shown interest is moving forward with their process to clear the way for production. From our side, we are still seeking financial partners locally to anchor the production here in Orange County. The opportunity is to bring outside major investors into the region by providing some leverage for the financing (five percent). To refresh your memories, a dollar in production brings four to five in local spending, and this six million dollar film represents about 750 jobs over the next year! These investors are most interested in tax credits and deductions that are available for investment in independent film and TV.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

St. George in Bill St. George. He might not have been a dragon-slayer, but he was one of the most talented, kind and compassionate men we have ever known. He was a man who lived his life for his family; he sacrificed the possibility of a career in acting and writing to take care of his wife and children, building and repairing other people's properties, at great physical cost to himself.

Two years ago, he walked into an acting class and re-ignited the passion he had always had for a craft he had yet to explore. His imagination was boundless. He found joy and humour in the strangeness of life, and used that unique vantage point to feed his creative soul. It was the soul with which he imbued his work as an actor and writer that made him and those around him come alive. Watching him work was a blessing; working with him was a treat, one that we will sorely miss. His grasp of the Meisner technique was instantaneous and effortless. We know that wherever he is, he's probably in Sanford Meisner's Master Class right now. Surely, Sandy would have loved him as we did. Our heartfelt prayers go out to his family along with a promise that we are here for them.

We will be creating a memorial benefit for Bill, whose untimely passing will most certainly inflict a serious financial burden for his family for whom he worked so tirelessly. For all who knew him, please look for an announcement for when we will be conducting the benefit; please join us in supporting him and his commitment to his wife, Barbara, and their children and grandchildren.


On a lighter note, Willy Gilly has jumped into a new project (oh, really?). On Tuesday, October 16, at the Warwick Community Center, Denice Davis and Missy Raye (Whole Kids Education Foundation) held court over a group of concerned parents, whose issue is the health of their children. Pounds For Pupils is a program for parents desiring to provide healthy alternatives for their school-age kids by participating in health and fitness programs themselves.

It's a ninety-day competition, and the contestants will be getting sponsors to donate an agreed-upon amount for each pound lost. The donated money will go to programs for the children to cover some of the budget cuts that have been made in our school districts. The winner receives all kinds of perks; there are two Grand Prizes that include a complete body makeover. But the real winners are the kids, who get to see the results of taking proper care of themselves! It's also a pilot program, and if it works, expect to see it all over the country! For more information, check out the Whole Kids Education Foundation page on Facebook!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Vote Independent!

First off, we started the day at a breakfast with Independent Living, an organization devoted to the welfare of disabled people. It was a great breakfast, and they seem to be nice people committed to their work and their clients. The breakfast was at Anthony's Pier 9 in New Windsor. We sat with Cynthia Marsh-Kroll (Orange County EAP) and Paul Campanella, who's on the board at Museum Village.

We ran from there over to Hudson Valley Pawnbrokers, to meet with their web guru, Steve Toth of Dropline Design. Steve's responsible for HVPb's website, which handles about 80,000 hits a month! He'll be putting together the "Chasing G" site and working with Willy Gilly to embed video and audio. It should be up in short order!

After that, it was on to the office of Dr. Rajan Gulati, for some meditation and discussion about "36 Hours", to which Ed Asner has said he would add his acting talents. The producers have him slated for the part of Pope Leo. David Patrick Wilson is extremely excited at the opportunity to work with his old friend and mentor on this project! We expect to have further news from UTA on casting choices by week's end!

Finally, the Acting Anyone Master Class meets tonight! Anyone with a professional acting resume, with some real experience, is welcome to interview for inclusion; all Neighborhood Playhouse graduates, Meisner-trained actors and Level 2 Acting Anyone graduates are welcome to sit in and work on their next great role, audition, or improvisations! Space is limited; a ten-session card, which can be used anytime in Master classes, is $325. You will be working with Mr. Wilson himself!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The heat is on!

As the season cools down, things are really heating up at Willy Gilly! After surviving a long, hot summer during which the long-promised river of cash seemed to have dried up, the fall has provided new opportunities to get back on track! Starting with the premiere of "Collar" in August, moving into the new production of "Chasing G", the continued development of "36 Hours" and "A Hustler's Life", there is renewed interest in all things Willy Gilly!

If you'd like to be a part of this extraordinary effort, now more than three years in the making, head to, and contribute to the growth and development of entertainment throughout Orange County and New York! For as little as $25, you can join us in moving forward with power and purpose!

We are the people's filmmakers -- it's our job to tell the stories you want us to tell -- we want your support to get the job done!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Amazing 'Grace'!

David and Nan spent yesterday afternoon and evening watching David's favorite actor (and longtime friend) Ed Asner in the Broadway play "Grace"! The house was packed, and the players were packing! A loaded script that takes on religious zealots, scammers, marriage and betrayal with all of its resulting tears and laughs. Not for the closed-minded or the faint of heart, this dry look at what motivates people to do terrible things was played to a near-full house at the Sunday matinee. The performances were crisp, energetic and completely believable!

Paul Rudd (I Love You, Man) does an amazing job in the lead role; Michael Shannon (Boardwalk Empire) is fully empathetic in his role; Ed Asner provides both comedy and drama as a German immigrant exterminator; and Kate Arrington is convincing as the lonely devotee of Christ, as she strays from the path of righteousness. The play, by Craig Wright, is not so much an indictment of Christianity as it is a withering look at fanatical religious hypocrites, who claim to be saved but lack the sufficient information to give them real firepower! Hats off to all...we highly recommend this provocative play and powerful cast!

After the stimulating performance, we went with Ed to the Del Frisco Grill on 51st Street, as his guests, for an incredible dinner! Service was great, food was terrific, and the clientele was top-shelf...except for the rude woman who sat behind Ed and kept bumping him with her chair! We also discussed a number of projects on which we might work together, including the thriller/drama "36 Hours", in which he said he would be happy to play the Pope!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Arts for art's sake!

Willy Gilly met this morning with the Orange County Arts Council to discuss the creation and operation of the Orange County (NY) Film Office, which is being formed to develop and promote Orange County as a hub for film and TV production, post-production and animation. The Council requested support for the application to the OCIDA (Orange County Industrial Development Agency); they are looking to use a grant as an anchor to attract other investment by producers at-large working in Orange County. We are weighing the opportunity to work as a primary consultant to the Arts Council; we believe that Orange County is the heart of the region for such development and is logistically, scenically and demographically perfect as a magnet that will bring the industry into the region on a large scale!

Congratulations to Paul Ellis and the management of the Sugar Loaf Performing Arts Center, which opened their new season last night...and we hear they really rocked the house with a virtuoso performance by singer John Pizzarelli! It's great to see such excitement and enthusiasm about what's happening in Sugar Loaf! We trust that we will be working with Paul at the Sugar Loaf PAC in the very near future; unfortunately, we unable to attend, due to the fact we were finishing principal photography on "Chasing G".

Speaking of "Chasing G", we are off and running, putting together a short promotional clip at the request of a major TV network! This will be followed by an extended video clip (seven to eight minutes) to be mounted on YouTube and distributed throughout the web! We are extremely excited with the results of our filming; we look forward to getting this 30-minute strip in front of the viewing public ASAP! Stay tuned...and we mean that literally!

Today's the day we expect to get some answers from the United Talent Agency regarding the prospective talent package for "36 Hours". Depending on what transpires in the next, well, thirty-six hours, Willy Gilly will open the gates for all possibilities in order to expedite casting and funding for the project. We believe that regardless of who participates, the story and script are winners, and it will become a great movie! We look to be in production by year's end!

Also, there's encouraging news on "A Hustler's Life": sources close to the potential primary investor say they are very encouraged and believe that, given the nature of the investor's other businesses, AHL is a win-win all the way around! The six million dollar project, which focuses on poker and romance, will be filmed in Orange County, Brooklyn (Barclays Center), Atlantic City, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. We expect to have answers on talent by month's end!

Finally, we wish to thank the Baltmore Orioles for giving us another opportunity to witness more great baseball! We would also like to send our condolences to the demise of a truly amazing season following the outcome of tonight's game. It is not an exaggeration to say the Orioles surprised everyone! GO YANKS!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Take us out to the ballgame!

GO YANKS! In the most amazing game we have ever witnesses (in person), the Yankees prevailed last night over the Baltimore Orioles. Nan and David were at the game (it was an anniversary present) as Raul Ibanez ninth-inning heroics were topped only by his twelfth-inning heroics, putting an end to the Orioles' 16-game extra-inning streak and a 78-game stretch in which the O's were undefeated when leading after the seventh! The game concluded just before midnight and 43,000 people (including us) went completely insane! David insists it was the greatest game ever played...the Yanks could end it all tonight, and we wish them all the best, although we know this Baltimore team is for real!

In other news, work forges ahead on "Chasing G", with interviews and editing. We expect the pilot to be completed by month's end, but you can see short segments of the program, beginning next week on our website,!

Meanwhile, "36 Hours" remains on hold, while awaiting word on offers out to major talent. We expect to have answers this week, and to finalize a funding package over the weekend, to be distributed to our investors for their approval next week.

Likewise with "A Hustler's Life". The package is out to our investors already, and we are just awaiting answers on how, when and where they would like to meet to finalize their commitment to the project. A six million dollar price tag on the card-flipping flick will be ready for casting by the end of this month. Word has it that Richard Gere is high on the short-list of players Willy Gilly would like to see at the table!

"Collar" is still awaiting its funding ($1.5 million) to do its own thing at the American box office; meanwhile, we have been approached by several international distributors interested in making a worldwide deal. The producers are looking for a time and place to screen for a select few the picture that premiered to great audience enthusiasm this past August!

They will be passing a screener copy to our close friend Ed Asner this Sunday, following the matinee of "Grace", starring Ed and Paul Rudd on Broadway! Ed's company, Quince Productions, is very interested in working with Willy Gilly; Ed co-starred with David Wilson in the TV series "The Bronx Zoo" from 1986-89. (It will be great to see him at work once again!)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

O! What a day!

Saturday at Hudson Valley Pawnbrokers! Clowns, face painting, balloons, money! An amazing experience, all captured on video! People telling poignant stories about why the pawn shop has replaced the local bank for twenty percent of the population these days -- a graphic testament to the failures of our society in providing for our weakest and most vulnerable citizens. At least in case of "Chasing G", you'll get to see a human side to an otherwise cold and calculated business! That's why "Chasing G" is a must-see, and will be available on cable in the very near future!

We continue to work on casting for the feature film "36 Hours"; we are awaiting word from the United Talent Agency on striking a package deal that could provide a significant portion of the full cast! This will expedite the process of funding and get us into pre-production by year's end. We look forward to working with their list of formidable talent!

Meanwhile, we are still looking for a venue to house our stage productions. Anyone knowing of a house with 200 seats or more in the Hudson Valley ready for production, please contact us so we can begin the vetting process!

As a footnote, yesterday marked the first wedding anniversary of David Wilson and Nan Gill-Wilson. They enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Cosimo's at Middletown, and were treated to excellent service and a delicious dinner! They will be enjoying their anniversary gift: tickets to the Yankees-Orioles playoff game tomorrow night!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Wild and crazy at HVPb!

T-minus one day and counting! Today is a day of preparation at Hudson Valley Pawnbrokers in Middletown, New York! What a crew! Come and see for yourself tomorrow when we start playing for real on "Chasing G"!

Not that these guys aren't real everyday...things around here are as real as it gets! Come and join the fun tomorrow: bring what you got, and see what you get, with a chance to win some FREE cash, and maybe your fifteen minutes of fame!

Meanwhile, we met with Big Mountain Entertainment and Rebel Records this morning for a new project, focused on the music industry. We are excited about moving forward with this group to create a joint venture that will highlight the development of regional talent into major stars! Orange County...what a concept!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

T-minus two and counting!

"Chasing G" launches in two days! Saturday's the day! Come out and enjoy the fun!

Meanwhile, we are working with the United Talent Agency (UTA) to secure a talent package for "36 Hours"! UTA's clients include Sir Anthony Hopkins, Johnny Depp, singer Bryan Adams, filmmaker Wes Anderson, William Baldwin, Christine Baranski, Kate Beckinsale and Don Cheadle! The agency, with more than three thousand clients, has many 'bankable' names to fill the bill on the projected ten million dollar budget.

Also, we're still looking for a theatre for a season of plays we would like to produce this winter. If anyone has a line on a 200+ seat house with a real stage and lighting, please contact us ASAP! In the meantime, we will be working on gathering film shorts for the upcoming Beacon Festival in February. Please submit the work (music video or film short) that you think is your best effort to Willy Gilly!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

We see the light!

Last night, we met with the board at the Beacon Theatre in Beacon, NY, a truly extraordinary facility in the process of rehabilitation! (We love their enthusiasm and their passion!) They expect that the full house will be completely renovated and available for use by all forms of live entertainment by next spring. In the interim, they are raising awareness and funding through a series of events, including the Beacon Film Festival, to be conducted in the newly-renovated portion of the theatre in February. We are looking at providing them support through a screening of "Collar" and a number of film shorts, created by Willy Gilly and our associates, as part of the three-day event. If you are a filmmaker and have (or will have) a short film (10-20 minutes in length) available by the January entry date, please contact us so that we can review and pass it along! The Festival is also interested in music videos, local bands and TV pilot programs, as well as feature films.

Also: T-minus three days and counting before we start lensing "Chasing G"! If you're looking at making a buck, come on down to Hudson Valley Pawnbrokers on just may end up on TV, or winning a few dollars in the ATM giveaway, to be conducted by Woodman of K104.7! And meet "G" himself! We'll be there at 128 Dolson Avenue (next to National Liquidators) in Middletown!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A Beacon on the Hudson!

In light of all that's happening, Willy Gilly is grateful to be meeting today with the Beacon Theatre in Beacon, NY, regarding the inclusion of "Collar" in their upcoming festival and the possibility of live productions there over the coming months! We are looking forward to announcing a schedule of ALL of the upcoming events by week's end. We promise, it will be exciting!

Meanwhile, the countdown continues for the launch of "Chasing G"! Put on your rocket's gonna be quite a run! Once again, Woodman, morning show host at K104.7, will be running the giant ATM in front of Hudson Valley Pawnbrokers at 128 Dolson Ave in Middletown, between noon and 2pm on Saturday! HVP is the home base for "Chasing G", and this Saturday, it'll be a place where YOU can grab some free cash! Come on out if you're feeling lucky!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Get ready for "Chasing G"!

This Saturday, October 6th, marks the launch of principal photography of the new reality series "Chasing G", based right here in Orange County! "G" himself will be holding court at Hudson Valley Pawnbrokers at 128 Dolson Avenue in Middletown, NY! Look for the giant ATM where YOU can walk away with CASH, courtesy of the Woodman from the K104.7 Morning Show...and if you come between noon and 2pm, you just might find yourself the subject of "Chasing G"!

Also, we meet tomorrow with the Beacon Theatre about the entry of "Collar" into the Beacon Film Festival this coming February, and the possibility of a series of live plays to be performed there this fall! Remember, for all those who are Acting Anyone Level 1 students, tomorrow night's classes are postponed, so that we may meet with our counterparts at the Beacon!