‘With You’ goes #1 in 17 Countries

WY-#1 in 17banner

If you’ve been following, over the last 9 months I produced the film With You, which is also the name of Dirty South’s upcoming album. The film is based on the album and exists as an extension of the music – but is most definitely not a music video. It is a narrative, 38 minutes in length (the album is 53 minutes).

We shot in Los Angeles in February/March of this year and it came out this past Tuesday, exclusively on iTunes. That same day it shot to #1, leap frogging films by Pixar, Disney and some other massive companies. It has a lot to do with  Dirty South’s fan base, the excellent buzz/reviews the film and music have been getting, and the low price ($2.99). That means a lot, because if you do the math – hundreds of thousands of short films get made each year, only 365 even have a shot at being #1, with most #1’s holding the spot for a length of time. I’m proud of the work we did on this and in the short amount of time it took to shoot and turnaround. It was his first directorial effort on anything but a music video and there was a lot of moving pieces. He dove right into a complicated shoot with a complicated post. And we already have our next few projects lined up… you’ve seen a lot of the rumblings here… stay tuned!



These Drums Are Better Than Your Drums

We are hard at work on an animatic for the opening scene from my next animated film, Orient City: The Dark Ronin Chronicles.  Zsombor is killing it and the animatic itself is actually done. He even took a few frames and finished them so they are the ‘final’ cells from the film (you’ll see them in due time). He did a pass of sound, then I did a pass of sound… now Dragan has to do a pass of sound and mix it.

storyboard_OC_opening 1

Then, we need to add the music.  Dragan has some ideas he’s working with – but the general concept is Ennio Morricone with an oriental twist.  Like Once Upon a Time in the West meets Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. It will be epic – like the movie itself.

In laying down sounds, Zsombor put some drums to the video. When I cringed and Dragan almost threw up, he was a bit poopy. He really loved his weak-ass drums. Then Dragan broke these out and cheered him up…

London Calling

I recently returned from a trip to London, where I was in post on the music video for Unbreakable, the first single off of Dirty South‘s new album, With You.

Most people assume we are out partying, hitting clubs and picking up models with other world class DJ’s. These are the same people that think I walk red carpets and that movie sets are a big party. The reality is that we were in the hotel room or at the ATM offices editing about 12-14 hours a day… I’m not complaining, because this is what I love. I just happened to travel across the Atlantic to do my job in London, which is pretty cool.

Headphones straight from David Guetta

Headphones straight from David Guetta

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Now entering London...

Now entering London…

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The RE Hotel, the least friendly place in the city. And that's saying a lot.

The RE Hotel, the least friendly place in the city. And that’s saying a lot.

A Ping Pong battleground just steps from the hotel

A Ping Pong battleground just steps from the hotel

Our tube station during this trip

Our tube station during this trip

Oxford Circus

Oxford Circus

Nando's - we need some Portugese Chicken in the US

Nando’s – we need some Portugese Chicken in the US

Zsombor's artwork for City of Dreams about to go up in the ATM offices

Zsombor’s artwork for City of Dreams about to go up in the ATM offices

It was real London.

It was real London.

With You – Trailer

This week Billboard debuted the trailer for With You, the film/concept album I produced (among other roles). You can see it below:

A write-up on the film/album and interview with Dirty South followed on Billboard, with a few words that gave me an ego boost…

“It’s a remarkably well-produced product, especially considering Roganovic is largely self-taught…”

Unbreakable kicks off the last eight months of my life

Just this past week, Dirty South premiered the first single off his upcoming album With YouUnbreakable.  This begins the roll-out of a project I’ve been working on since before Christmas.

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The album tells a story… and that story comprises the film With You.  It was directed by Dirty South and produced by myself and Jimmy Devoti (who also produced White Space). The whole thing was done in-house – we even built a coloring suite at his studio (with coloring by Anthony Harris – who is one of the best in the business). The film stars Cameron Palatas, Nathalie Kelley, Jimmy, Dave Sheridan, Dendrie Taylor, Gary Dourdan and Jearnest Corchado – and will roll out in September with the album.  The trailer drops tomorrow so be on the look out for that.

I’m also very proud to say that all of the artwork in the film is by our very own Zsombor Huszka, this includes all of the album artwork (which is inspired by the movie).


Author Review Etiquette

I’m copying this from a newsletter I receive from Author Marketing Experts, which always has great tips for authors.

Four Tips on What NOT to Say (or Pitch or Do) to Get Your Book Reviewed

If you want guarantees, you won’t find them in book reviews. Death and taxes, yes – but the book review process is a sea of unknowns, from how many review requests you’ll get to who’ll actually post a review to whether they’ll even like your book at all.

When you’ve got people reviewing books mostly as a labor of love, the reality is, that review you expected this month may be delayed by a couple of months. Or, they may not love your book and be pretty blunt about it. Life happens. It’s fine to check back with a reviewer if you haven’t heard anything and had been given a review timeframe. It’s fine to correct a factual error in a review, but it’s not appropriate to start a fight with someone who has fairly reviewed your book and just decided it didn’t work for them.

What else should you keep in mind during the review process?

Be a Pro. It probably seems unnecessary to state that being professional at all times is important, but there have been so many author-initiated blog brouhahas online that we can’t take anything for granted. Ask nicely when requesting a review; be gracious if the answer is no. It’s not personal. If you’ve done your homework you may know going in that a particular blogger – who you’ve identified as a key blogger for your book – is overwhelmed with a review backlog. Perhaps the blogger is up for a guest post, and if you see the blog often includes them, be prepared to pitch some ideas. Maybe it’s a good site for contests – again, be ready to suggest a contest and terms. Pay attention to what the blogger does on his or her blog – it’s most definitely not all reviews, all the time – and see if there is anything you can contribute to either complement a review or in place of a review.

Be appreciative. I can count on both hands, with fingers left over, the number of authors we’ve worked with who have bothered to thank reviewers. Do it. The authors who do take the time to email the blogger to say thanks are usually rewarded by developing relationships with the bloggers they thank. If that blogger enjoyed the author’s book they usually ask if they can review the author’s next book, and so on. What was originally a one-time situation now becomes an ongoing relationship in which the reviewer follows the author’s career and the author has additional opportunities for book reviews, interviews and more – and not only with that blogger; chances are the blogger’s peers who like the same kind of books are going to take notice.

Never burn bridges. Even if a review you receive is unfair, or not the quality you expected, there is only so much you can do. If there is a factual error, by all means alert the blogger immediately with the correction. Otherwise, if you just don’t like the review, let it go. Just remember that whatever the review says, you never know how readers will react and I’ve seen many cases in which the lukewarm review caused others to say they wanted to read the book for themselves. You’re getting free publicity and you have to realize that everyone may take away a different perspective from one review. And you should still thank them, nicely, for taking the time to review your book.

Take the long view. Also understand that the Internet has brought together hundreds of book lovers (aka book bloggers) as never before, and not only do they share their love of books, they also discuss problems, issues and more. Angry authors have gotten plenty of bad coverage this way, with the result being that a multitude of reviewers have sworn they will never review any work by that author. Ever. There’s an adage about never getting into a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel – a reference to newspapers and magazines – but the reality now is you don’t want to get into a fight with someone who has a blog with hundreds (or more) of followers, plus Twitter and Facebook accounts and the ability to broadcast bad news far and wide. Don’t let that be you!