George R.R. Martin – Hollywood demand on the rise….

Congratulations to George R.R. Martin, author behind Mike The Pike Productions’ ‘THE SKIN TRADE’ and HBO’s Game of Thrones!!!

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By Patrick Kevin DayFebruary 6, 2013, 5:27 p.m.

George R.R. Martin is much in-demand in Hollywood these days, as the HBO series based on his books, “Game of Thrones,” is the rare combination of a critical and commercial hit that can also move a lot of merchandising. Because of that magic touch, HBO announced on Tuesday that it had signed the science fiction and fantasy author to a two-year overall deal to develop new shows for the pay cable channel.

One would think Martin’s legions of fans would be cheering in the streets at the news that one of their favorite creators was being given more opportunities to bring his vision to TV. Surprisingly, it’s not entirely the case.

While there are assorted cheers here and there, almost resoundingly the reaction has been along the lines of this: “Finish the books, George. Just finish the books.”

“Game of Thrones” is adapted from Martin’s seven-novel “A Song of Ice and Fire” series of novels, of which five have been published. While the first three books were published within roughly a year of each other, the writing process of the last two books has been much slower. It took five years for the fourth book to be published and nearly six years for the fifth book.

The slow writing time coupled with Martin’s advancing age (he’s 64) has led many of his most passionate fans to worry that the author won’t be able to finish the series on his own. Their worries aren’t entirely unfounded; Robert Jordan, the bestselling fantasy author of the “Wheel of Time” series, died in 2007, leaving fans clamoring for conclusion of the multi-volume series. Jordan’s publisher, Tor, brought in fantasy author Brandon Sanderson to finish the series, which finally concluded with the publication of “A Memory of Light” in January.

In comments sections, on message boards and on Facebook and Twitter, the fans have been sharing the news and their own anxieties.

“I completely support #georgerrmartinand all his artistic endeavors and OH MY GOD WHERE IS THE NEXT BOOK?” wrote CNET Managing Editor Jen Guevin.

“George R.R. Martin STOP MAKING NEW STUFF AND JUST FINISH WHAT YOU’VE STARTED!!”wrote New York area game designer Eric Chung.

The deal will have Martin continuing to co-executive produce the “Game of Thrones” TV show in addition to the ability to develop and produce new series for the channel.

Martin continues to write the sixth and penultimate book in the series, “The Winds of Winter.” Though he posted a new sample chapter on his website in January, there’s still no announcement of when the book is expected to be published.

Martin isn’t a newcomer to Hollywood. He spent years as a TV writer in the 1980s, writing for the “Twilight Zone” reboot as well as “Beauty and the Beast.” It was the failure of a proposed series he created in the early ’90s, “Doorways,” which pushed him back to writing fiction and the creation of the “Song of Ice and Fire” series in the first place. He has stated that he wanted to write a series as big as his imagination and not be hampered by the limitations of a television budget.

Many fans have expressed a desire for Martin to adapt his “Wild Cards” series of collaboratively written novels about superheroes to the screen. The series of books, begun in 1987, is a shared universe created by a collective of science fiction and fantasy writers and edited by Martin and Melinda Snodgrass.

LUCKY NUMBER 7: George R.R. Martin named in Hollywood's Top 25 most powerful authors

GREAT NEWS!!!!  CONGRATULATIONS TO GRRM and his manager, Created By’s Vince Gerardis, on a well deserved accolade here.  Not too shabby for Mike The Pike either as we’re actively developing www.theskintrademovie.com based on Martin’s World Fantasy Award winning book…

Notice to Shareholders

 

Hi all- this is just a quick note to let you know– on the Operations side- all is strong and I look forward to making announcements accordingly as we move ahead with new projects and continue to make sales and finish up existing projects.  On the market side, we have been advised by our sponsoring market maker to not make announcements during the Form 211 phase.  Their work is crucial and I want to ensure we work with them as much as they are with us on this. I don’t expect that to last more than another 4-6 weeks and hope for the very best for all involved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It would be a major step up for us to become reinstated given the opportunities we have on the Operations side currently.

That said, again, this company is committed to a solution regardless; so if for any reason we decide it’s better, the option to be acquired (offers are on the table) with shares in the new company to MIKP holders is still our plan B.  That said, I feel really good about our chances via the Form 211 as we’ve submitted everything requested and then some to ensure full compliance and transparency as to our past, present and goals for the future.  Godspeed in the meantime and please let others know– we are extremely active on Facebook and we list updates frequently here on the blog!  We’ll be issuing Press Releases the very minute we can, with much to share in terms of further progress.

MTPblog

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Movie Markets, Market Makers and Magic Melons…

Okay, so I hate to break it to you, but this post has absolutely nothing to do with magic melons; simply that I was on a roll with the alliteration there and I suppose it just got out of hand at the end.   That said- what a terrific week in terms of our experience at AFM and also the progress we’re making with our market maker for a relisting on OTC Pink markets.  For those that know us strictly for our efforts and successes as a production company, the latter won’t have much impact on you; but for those invested in our stock via public markets, I’m thrilled to be sharing the update.

Let’s start with AFM.  As with last year’s AFM, when I had the pleasure of meeting Ted Chalmers of TomCat Films where discussion of company goals led to the acquisition of our subsidiary, www.saintjamesfilms.com 

This year was no different.  I attended as an associate of TomCat Films, LLC and had a great time getting to know Ted  better and watching him in action as he worked with buyers on dozens and dozens of titles he represents, including our subsidiary’s Blood Rites, Lizzie Borden’s Revenge, Captain Battle: Legacy War, Jurassic Shark and an equity interest we’ve acquired on a post apocalyptic sci-fi feature titled Android Rising.

I attended quite a few meetings with Spokefish partner, Ryan Colucci, and Jens-Peter Sjoberg, who I had the pleasure of meeting for the first time here. JP is the owner/founder of Odd Post, a Swedish based VFX company with some pretty incredible credits.  He was there taking meetings for an epic film he’ll be producing as well as working with Ryan and I to collaborate on ‘Lunatic’, a gritty found footage thriller we’re producing that Colucci will direct, based on a screenplay by Black List screenwriter, Dikran Ornekian.  I’m actually quite excited about this project as the team aboard so far, including White Space production designer, Jessee Clarkson (Iron Man, The Watchmen), is top notch, across the board.

Some companies we’re in discussion with that I took away as some of my favorites in terms of philosophy, business model and overall capabilities for sales and marketing success:  Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment, Screen Media, Meyers Media Group, Red Granite Pictures, Worldwide Film Entertainment and SC Films International, to name a few.  It doesn’t hurt to have someone like Ted Chalmers in our corner– The distribution business can be pretty dog-eat-dog, but just about everyone I met with knew Ted and spoke highly of him as a champion in his field.  But we knew this already 🙂   We have scripts, concepts, key art, teasers and samples out to a good number of distributors, by request, that we feel may be great fits for each project.

My first big meeting was last Friday a.m. with Vince Gerardis, who manages George R.R. Martin, the incredibly talented author behind our optioned property, ‘The Skin Trade’.  I always like meeting Vince because he’s generous with his time, despite his very busy schedule.  We chatted about The Skin Trade and moving forward there toward a well-packaged feature film and/or television series.  Though I’ve always felt it was great source material for a series, but television is an entirely different animal than film– that is, until the executive producer of HBO’s Game of Thrones asks you if you’d consider television as an option to explore.  The answer there should always be: yes.   And it was.  So we’ll see what happens there as we continue to hone out the screenplay for the feature.  As well, there may be more on the horizon for Mike the Pike and Vince Gerardis, pending discussions as there’s been mutual interest in exploring a wider strategic alliance there.  Based on discussions, which are just that, mind you, I feel there’s a lot we can accomplish together, as a piece of my plans moving the company upward and onward with a strategic group of Board members and/or Strategic Alliances that will help take us to the next level.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next up, Ted and I had the pleasure of having dinner with Gennaro Buonocore.  Gennaro is a Preferred holder in MIKP and has tremendous capital markets and start-up experience.  No one was thrilled about the recent move to grey sheets, which was, as the regulatories put it– a self-terminating, non-remedial order– so as much as we wanted to ensure it was remedied asap, instead we were shifted to a parallel universe in which, on the public markets side, we seem to both exist and not exist all the same.  It was like being put in the corner for something you ‘might’ have done incorrectly.  Regardless, it’s allowed us to focus on the engine that drives our business- creative, bankable content; so I can complain, but won’t.  Gennaro was pleased to hear our plans for moving forward which now may include both relisting on the pink sheets and/or an acquisition by a fully reporting company.  It may also include neither.  Nothing is done until its done as I’ve learned, but I’m confident with the progress we’re making with our Market Maker.  I’ll get to that in a minute…

Gennaro is currently serving our country in Afghanistan, but keeps close tabs on what we’re doing and how we do it.  We’re in discussions currently to bring him on in an official capacity to widen the scope of our brain trust here at MTP.  In our business, that base can be quite large.  It can look like a one-man show if you look at corporate filings because, yes, I’m currently the only ‘officer’ of the company, but I answer to partners and alliances every day with great care for the preservation of our projects together; whether I have to or not.  It’s what makes good companies great- working with the best possible people in a fashion that allows them to create long-term growth while the individual fulfills his/her goals for greatness all the while.

Stacey Parks was in attendance and I had the pleasure of a lunch with her while discussing our projects on the table.  Just a week later today, in typical awesome fashion, I find that Stacey has identified a few films from her FilmSpecific base that may be a match for SJF acquisitions.  Thank you, Stacey!  I’ll save the nitty gritty on all of the above for official announcements, but wanted to share what’s brewing at MTP toward what I feel will be a come-uppance for the company operationally and a phenomenal comeback in terms of the OTC market listing and overall per-share value therein.

Which leads me to the last but not least category– our Market Maker.  Yes, we are officially working with a Market Maker that will file the Form 211 on our behalf.  They have stated that review has been done on all of the materials we have sent and further expressed that our package “went above and beyond…exceeded their expectations” in terms of what’s been requested.  This included the Form 211, Officer’s Questionnaire, 2 years Annual reports, most recent quarter report, company overview/corporate executive summary, original State docs, bylaws and just about anything else on the company you can imagine.  What they expected to take 3 months, took less than a month in fun-filled days and sleepless nights to prepare and send.  It’s been reviewed by their compliance department and they said within the next 4-5 days it will be sent to FINRA for their review.  This is expected to take around 4-5 weeks, with questions in between that we will address with the help of our Market Maker, counsel and any other relevant party.  So though it may seem like forever in the fast-lane that is the nano/micro markets, it’s my understanding that the hard part, which was described as 80-85% of the entire equation, is behind us and I can only pray and cross my fingers that the rest of the trip is smooth sailing back up to the pinks so we can begin trading more in line with actual accomplishments, endeavors and potential breakthroughs.

Thanks to all and the overwhelming support we’ve received.  I can’t say exactly which road we’ll take, but I can say we’ll get there- one way or another.  A special thanks to those in the Armed Services that dedicate their lives to preserving our freedom and our security.  Their duty results in our privilege, and for that, we should make at least a moment of every single day Veteran’s Day.

MIKP subsidiary, Saint James Films titles get a boost from distributor TomCat Films, LLC's deal with Mark Burnett's YouToo.tv

Great piece on our distributor, TomCat Films in THR last week— (TomCat reps all of Saint James Films titles including Jurassic Shark, Lizzie Borden’s Revenge, Captain Battle: Legacy War, and more!) 

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Arizona sales company’s series of tongue-in-cheek theatrical trailers will air on interactive online and cable TV service.

TomCat Films LLC, an Arizona-based production and international sales company, has signed a licensing deal with YouToo TV to carry a series of its tongue-in-cheek theatrical movie trailers.

YouToo TV is an interactive television network that makes content available both online on cable systems, including Verizon Fios, Comcast and Time Warner Cable in 177 of the top 200 U.S. TV markets, according to the company. It estimates it has an audience of 15 million viewers.

The TomCat series of trailers calledTrailerific will promote their B-movies, including such titles as Thunderstorm: Return of Thor, Jurassic Shark and Lizzie Borden’s Revenge.

The first episode includes 5 trailers with a superhero theme where the audience can comment via video and text free of charge.

“These trailers are fun, campy and enjoyable at the same time, and that’s something you don’t necessarily see everywhere else,” says Chris Wyatt, CEO of YouToo TV. “We want to really expand the interactive experience and get viewers involved.”

YouToo TV works in association with Survivor producer Mark Burnett’s company VIMBY, (Video in My Backyard). Viewers can create an account online or using the YouToo TV app for mobile and tablets where they can upload video, pictures and text  to appear on their television service.

Since YouToo TV’s launch in 2010, over 500,000 viewers have appeared on their television services, according to the company. They say they put 500 people on the network each day, showing 15-second “Fame Spot” videos and 30-second “peoplemercials” that can instantly be seen on their television service. YouToo TV edits the videos and chooses which to post.

TomCat Films produces low-budget films and licenses them worldwide. Their recent titles includeRobin Hood: Ghosts of Sherwood and Disaster Wars.

 

TomCat Films LLC CEO Ted Chalmers said his company has “a very playful approach to marketing its features. YouToo’s Trailerific will celebrate our marketing style and provide exposure and promotion for our films amidst millions of users/viewers.”

Trailerific begins airing on YouToo TV on Friday.

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It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…

That pretty much says it all for me right now, outside whatever Mrs. Southcott and the cock-lane ghost were up to.  Monday morning, September 17, 2012, I was notified that trading on our company had been suspended by the SEC for a period of 10 days.  This, after the best year the company, and its stock, have had since inception… reduction of authorized shares, reduction of outstanding shares, reduction of debt and liabilities, with an increase in project flow, increase in revenues and increase in overall shareholder value.

I called the SEC immediately in hopes there was a mistake, but my call was met with an outgoing message system.  I began reading the statement they made that morning: http://www.sec.gov/news/digest/2012/dig091712.htm and realized they had concerns about what they believed to be discrepancies in our financials, press releases and ‘touting’ of the stock.

I finally received a call back and was told casually, in a very friendly manner, that the SEC wanted to notify us that we were suspended, that there are no allegations, no accusations and that it was for a definite, not an indefinite period of time: 10 days, after which we will resume trading.  Is this a punishment I thought?  Over a concern?  I asked what I could do to provide explanation or material for due diligence on their part to quell any concerns.

They simply said, “you’re attorney can call us if you like, we’re not asking you to do anything; this is a 10 day self-terminating order so there is no remedial procedure.  It is simply an expression of SEC concerns.”  Self terminating order?? And then everything is fine??  So I hung up in a state of bewilderment.  This can’t be?

So our attorney did call, and prior to, I implored, again  via email to my atty: “I’m wondering– perhaps you should ask them— I wouldn’t do this without them, but WHAT IF, we were to address all of their issues in a press release– perhaps if they feel investors may be under false pretenses for whatever reason, we can clarify each and every issue in a public statement to clarify?”

I was told again, that they did not want clarification, there are no allegations, accusations or findings as such, only a “concern” that they felt warranted a suspension and dismissal into the grey sheets.  Whether it simply didn’t hit me yet, much like the delay I sometimes have between a relative or close friend dying and an outpour of emotion or maybe I just wasn’t able to take this as a serious concern due to the fact that I’ve done everything I can to ensure we are dotting our ‘i’s’ and crossing our ‘t’s’ with an allegiance to shareholders and the company for sustainable, long-term growth, doing something not many, if any, have achieved in the pink sheets as far as I remember.

This must be serious for the SEC to authorize an act that would potentially shatter investor confidence and liquidity in one fell swoop. But what?

From my attorney shortly after– FINALLY, a list of concerns I can address!  What possibly deems a potential devastation of shareholder equity, let’s find out:  (my responses to atty in italics)

Mark, Here are some of the issues that he highlighted:

There were questionable internet activity and concerns about  PRs from Decemebr 2009 to February 2010.  As an example, on January 21, 2010, you put out a PR stating that you are expecting revenue of $100 million by 2013.

 They are referring to this release:  http://markets.hpcwire.com/about/news/read/11565026/mike_the_pike_productions_new_media_announces_servenation_revenue_projections  These are actual revenue projections that have been reviewed by Discover Card and First California Bank prior to our approval of ServeNation by First California Bank and reviewed by Discover Card for a National Card program.  These are also conservative projections.  They have not yet materialized because we began focusing on the film projects, etc. and have not yet raised the collateral reserve necessary to implement the program.  I stand by these projections in terms of what the program will generate, simply that it’s been on the back burner and we’ve been very clear with shareholders as to that fact. 
There was also heavy touting in the stock-  Not sure what qualifies as heavy touting…Strategic focus, reduction of debt, reduction of shares and continual acquisition/creation of assets- please do make note of the strides we’ve taken thus far.

They also had specific questions concerning your financials from 2011.  I would have to know what those are?

He did not know whether we’d open up on the Grey.  omg please no.

I found later that the specific questions concerning our financials from 2011 was that in 2010 we listed our liabilities with interest rates…. in a report in 2011 we did not add the interest payments to the principle.   This was the concern?? I will happily address as, yes, this was a serious, but honest bookkeeping error on my own part.  One I would happily retract and re-file.  I then found that, yes, indeed we would go to the grey sheets.

It’s my OPINION, they were being coy at the very least in their claims to ignorance about the grey sheets as I suspect they know full well the process and where it will take our company and its shareholders.  Do I have a strong opinion here– Yes I do.  I feel the SEC is looking to rid the public markets of non-reporting companies.  I believe they are considering all to be guilty until proven innocent assuming the mice will be separated from the men here, with many mice scattering for the door or resting complacently in a nest known as the grey sheets.  They have been both vague and overzealous in their ‘concerns’ and potentially wiped out shareholders of millions of dollars of potential equity in a current information company making strides like never before.

That said, I understand and respect their end result.  These markets NEED an enema, to paraphrase Jack Nicholson’s Joker. But I am confident, removing myself and my ego from the situation, we are NOT one of the companies that deem this type of casual dismissal.  It’s sad that, if I’m correct, they’ve taken to Machiavellian measures to both rid the markets of non-reporting companies and also to justify their own existence.  Harsh words, maybe.  But if after this, they’ll give me anything, I hope its the free and clear right to my opinion.

Alas, we are not mice, but men, all of us and those with us, and I am working pro-actively to remedy this situation to the best of our abilities.  If anything, frankly, this is the last straw for me in terms of operating on the pink sheets as a non-reporting company, but it will remain a stepping stone against my wishes to get us where we need to be in what I hope to be a brief remedial period.  That said, though I’ll never say ‘Thank you!” to the SEC for this, I consider many things to be a blessing in disguise.  If you are good, the world will be good to you, it’s always been my firm belief.  I take lemons and I make lemonade.  And we’ll continue to be making sweet, thirst quenching lemonade despite the current speed bump here.  We will re-evaluate SWOT analysis and goals in terms of both company and its stock. We are pro-active, not re-active as a friend expressed today.

Along that line, we have actively engaged in discussions with a market maker who has expressed verbal willingness to sponsor us with a 15c211 pending a DD package I am preparing for review.  This process may or may not materialize.  It can take 60 days, it may even take 6 months.  The goal being to be sponsored back on to the pink sheets at which point we’ll begin preparing an S-1 to file for BB status.  It’s at this stage that we will continue to work toward building our assets and industry position toward an uplist to AMEX or a similar exchange.  Like it or not, all involved, we will have to restructure the stock at some point as a result.  I was asked recently if we would promise not to restructure the stock for a period of 5 years.  I wanted to slap someone.  We are a growing company.  I am confident our long-term holders will be rewarded beyond their (realistic) expectations and I hope those that are serious in helping take us to the next level continue to reach out, support and assist with constructive advice and useful introductions.

That said,  this is for real.  Grab your life vests, put on your seat belts, or bolt for the door— and I think there’s a lesson to be learned here, though I’m not giving advice, recommendations or otherwise, but please, please, in these markets, do not invest, trade or gamble any more than you can afford to lose, no matter how strong the company as I believe Monday is pudding proof that anything can happen–and to anyone.

And I’m not tooting my own horn here, but I’d love to, in an alternate universe, have an outside qualified committee to review anything and everything we have done– our mistakes, our achievements and what not, as I can’t see anyone, the cheerleaders nor the skeptics, deeming THIS company, THIS issuer, a 10-day suspension resulting in the greys.  50 shades indeed…..They are the S and we the M for now, but I’ll continue to fight for us through to the pinks.  I am only writing this because I feel it is possible based on our conversation today with the market maker and, from there, we go fully reporting.  I will not puff my chest, I will not waste time and resources fighting Goliath.

I will use what’s available to me  to get us through this proper while continuing to develop what will become a competing mini-major, acquisition contender…with announcements forthcoming on additional projects we are taking to AFM, our progress on George R.R. Martin’s The Skin Trade, our effects driven sci-fi thriller, White Space and, yes even more I haven’t even touched on just yet!

Thanks to those that have reached out to support.  And to those that revel in our temporary setback, you can go F

Saint James Films Acquires Worldwide Rights to Bloodthirsty, Bikini-Babe-Eating 'Jurassic Shark'

Read Today’s Press Release

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This is our second film acquisition this year and we’ve recently entered negotiations for at least two more films in 2012 for the Saint James Film Slate and Library!  Moving forward like the Tortoise against the Hare and I’m thankful for a good handful of long-term shareholders that have taken the time to understand our vision moving forward.  It won’t be but next thing we know it and realized revenues will further expand our company’s reach and position.  It’s movies like Jurassic Shark, as part of a business model in Saint James, that will expedite our opportunities and strategic benchmarks for Mike The Pike Productions.  I cannot tell you how excited (and honored) I am to be working with Vince Gerardis and George R.R. Martin on our next game-changing endeavor, ‘The Skin Trade’.   We’re currently finishing up the script for review with GRRM himself, then working with Vince to package toward what I feel will lead to success in so many ways.

As well, I’m thrilled to be approaching AFM where we’ll begin to realize opportunities for this project, our Saint James library and effects driven sci-fi thriller, White Space.   Thanks again for the opportunity to work toward making Mike The Pike Productions a mini-major contender, as I will continue to do each day with passion and a focused strategy.

Lizzie Borden Hacks her way into The Film Catalogue for this year's AFM

 

It’s listed as in ‘pre-production’ but we are currently in post-production on the project FYI….look to wrap it up in the next few weeks!   Again– More movies…More revenue