Someday Productions LLC and Pillow Talking are proud to present this guest blog from author & e-publishing pioneer Ray Hoy.
Ray Hoy is the owner/publisher of the The Fiction Works, one of the five original ePublishing houses on the Internet, dating back some 20 years. In addition, his digital development company, Misty Mountain Productions, has developed exceedingly strong alliances since its inception two years ago. These include an agreement with movie miniature special effects legend, Brick Price, to develop creative content for their California-based WonderWorks, Inc., a full-service design and production company serving the film, theme park and museum industries. WonderWorks’ client list includes NASA, Spielberg, Lucas, Disney, Universal, G.M., Ford, Chrysler, Rockwell, and the Smithsonian Museum.
Ray’s previous guest blog (see Rau Hoy #1) focused on the state of the book publishing industry. When asked to comment on his passion and thoughts regarding the film/media side of his business, he was happy to oblige in his typical enthusiastic fashion.
What is a guy who loves the film business doing living in Alaska? An enormous, sprawling state that dwarfs all others, including Texas, which Alaskans refer to as “That cute little state down in the lower forty-eight.”
While I am living the dream in Alaska, I am taking full advantage of the perks of the digital age – I can collaborate with anyone, anywhere in the world without putting up with the traffic, smog, and noise of the so-called civilized world.
No matter where you live, and no matter if you’re a newbie or old pro, if you’re involved in the video/film business in any way, you share the thrills, heartaches, defeats (hopefully small ones), victories (hopefully large ones), and sense of accomplishment with every other filmmaker in the world.
The horror stories about Hollywood’s failures and successes are legendary. The “film industry” (actually a misnomer now that nearly everything has gone digital) is a tough, often unforgiving place to ply your trade and invest your time and money, but it is also highly addictive and often very rewarding.
Perhaps the only other industry that matches the film business for intrigue, wild yarns, and colorful characters is the casino business, and I am a 20-year veteran of that particular battleground as a director of casino marketing and casino consultant. Consequently, while I love the film business, I find myself more amused than intimidated by its behind-the-scenes battles, the huge egos, and the big-money transactions since I was exposed to it for two decades in the casino business.
I’ve done a lot of different things for a living, and I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy all of them. But writing is my number-one passion. Always has been, always will be. I live by some hard, fast rules, and I think they’re worth sharing with you:
- I have faith in myself and in my abilities. If you don’t . . . well, good luck to you.
- If I am presented with a callous take-it-or-leave-it I always leave it – and so should you. See number 1: Have faith in yourself.
- If you’re offered “points in the picture” grab your spec script off the table and head for the door. Have a few lucky screenwriters actually made money from a points-in-the-picture deal? I imagine so. But the odds of success going that route are roughly the same as being hit by lightning. Have faith in yourself.
- I believe in assembling a “complete package” before I start making phone calls looking for funding or collaboration, and so should you. As a result of my belief in this practice, East Coast indie producer Someday Productions optioned my Jack Frost thriller series. Here’s what was in that complete package that attracted their attention:
- I provided them with a dozen each of all three trade paperback editions of my Frost series: The Vegas Factor, A Proper Time to Die, and Nightmare in Neon.
- I let them know that all three books also are available in eBook format, and available through all major retailers such as Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, etc. In addition, all three books are in audio production.
- I provided Someday Productions with not one, but two separate spec scripts. Why two? Well, if they succeed in producing a film based on the first script and it reaches the silver screen and is accepted by the public, they already have a script for the next book in the series. I’m sure you can see why any production company would love that kind of complete package.
- The very evening that Someday Productions optioned my Frost series, I started on yet a third spec script based on the next Jack Frost book, Hard Edges, scheduled for November 2016 publication.
Yeah, it’s called planning ahead.
Now, that’s just the way I like to prepare for success. You may or may not agree with everything I’ve just presented, but I think if you give it some serious thought you’ll find that my “complete package” approach will give you an edge. I can tell you from experience that having an “edge” is how casinos make their money. It works in the film business, too.
Good luck to you. And, oh, did I mention that you should have faith in yourself?
– Ray Hoy, Author/Publisher/Producer
More about Ray:
Ray Hoy has been a professional writer, editor, publisher, and producer for over five decades. Somewhere in his long media career he managed to spend nearly 20 years as a casino marketing consultant for some of Nevada’s top gaming properties. He opened two Indian Gaming establishments for Wayne Newton Gaming, and several Nevada-style Mississippi-based casino boats: The Lady Luck, a dockside gambling riverboat in Natchez, and The Pride of Mississippi, an ocean-going gambling cruise ship out of Gulfport. In addition he handled the marketing for numerous land-based Nevada casino properties: the Ormsby House Hotel & Casino in Carson City; the Lady Luck Casino in Las Vegas; and the Lakeside Inn & Casino and Caesars Tahoe, both located on Lake Tahoe’s famous South Shore.
Today Ray devotes full time to his Alaska-based businesses (The Fiction Works and Misty Mountain Productions) and to his writing. He is the author of the acclaimed Jack Frost Thriller Series, recently optioned by Someday Productions LLC. His real-life experience in the “casino wars” provide him with a wealth of authentic material for his Jack Frost series. He also is the author of Letters from Under the Mushroom Cloud, a true and poignant record of his time spent in the military as one of the so-called “Atomic Soldiers” who witnessed the above-ground nuclear detonations at the infamous Nevada test site in 1957. Unlike thousands of his fellow soldiers, Ray has lived to tell about it and, luckily, still has his health.