At long last – the teaser to The Debut!

I’ve been teasing this teaser for quite some time now. Truth is, it’s been finished for a while, but I was waiting for the right time to release it.

And I felt like today would be the right time.

Before anybody asks, I have to say up front that THE MOVIE HAS NOT BEEN SHOT! This is a teaser trailer meant to show potential distributors and investors what a promotion for this film would look like. Just a little something to make it a little more real. We’re still finding financing at this point.

And I have to thank the people who helped make this happen, Tim Yager, Kyle Austin, Giovannie Cruz, Michael Marco, Ryan Fyffe, the incredibly cool crew at The Granada, and Marc Rouse for his awesome title effects at the end. Music in the trailer by They Were Stars and Baboon.

And here it is, enjoy!

The Debut Teaser from Joe Scott on Vimeo.

Calhoun’s Knife Fight video!



Calhoun by way of The Burning Hotels

Chance Morgan took time out of his busy schedule of rocking with The Burning Hotels to do a remix of Calhoun’s song Indian Melody off their new album Heavy Sugar.

It’s more of a dance jam than the original song (which is one of my favorites on the album, by the way), but a fun listen. Check it out here:







In other Calhoun news, they’ll be playing this Thursday at Club Dada with another Debut band, Bravo, Max!  Show starts at 9:00 PM and looks like a winner.  Also, Tim from Calhoun says this may be their last show for a while, so come out and see them while you can.

Eating Crow

The Dallas Mavericks are finally the NBA champs and I couldn’t be happier…

You know, I have to be honest, I can’t just sit here and spew about how psyched I am that the Mavs won because I don’t want to be one of those guys who jumps on the team’s bandwagon and acts like they were always superfans. You want to know the honest truth? I’ve been a cynic.

Yup, I used to be a huge Mavs fan – followed all their games, fought with my friends in San Antonio and elsewhere, I was big into the Mavs. But let’s face it, over the last several years it’s been hard to be a Mavs fan. VERY hard. We can all point to the Meltdown of 2006 as the moment when the Mavs lost a lot of fans, but for me it was a combination of that year and the next, when they broke their own record for regular season wins and went into the playoffs as the top seed and then lost in the 1st round.

That was just enough to make me a cynic for life. And truth be told, when they got into the finals – and especially when I saw it was the Heat – I all but counted them out.

But man was I wrong. After only watching a couple of games in this series, I could tell this wasn’t the same team I’d learned to expect disappointment from. These guys had a will to win that I’ve never seen in this team before, and Dirk finally seemed to be stepping up and leading in the 4th quarter instead of crumbling the way I was so used to. I could tell this was going to be different. These guys didn’t give up. These guys didn’t choke. It wasn’t always pretty, but they never stopped fighting.

And now, they’ve finally done it.

I could talk in this blog about how great this is for Dallas, and me making a Dallas movie, but you know, for this blog post anyway, it’s not gonna be about the movie. The Mavs won the championship, and this is their moment, so I’m just going to take this time to say congratulations to all of them on a fantastic season and for winning back a lot of fans.

Including me.

Yes, today I’m eating crow. But it tastes pretty good.


Menkena, Radiant, and Calhoun at the Kessler – 6/10

When was the last time you saw a really great show?

It’s time for another one.

Menkena and Calhoun are two bands involved with The Debut that make stellar music and put on a hell of a show, and tomorrow night, they’re going to be playing together in one of the best venues in town, the Kessler Theater in Oak Cliff.

Do yourself a favor and come check out this show along with Radiant, another excellent local band.  It will be one for the books.

Buy your tickets from!

Texas Film Incentives Passed!

This is really huge news, not just for The Debut, but for all of the Texas film industry.  Tax incentives, which reward producers who film in Texas by paying back up to 25% of their budgets, have brought in over $30 Billion in state spending related to film production.  It’s created work for the film industry and helped filmmakers raise money for their dream projects.  It’s also something we have been planning to use to help fund The Debut.

As we all know, state governments have been tightening the belts this year to get budgets in order, so defending these tax breaks has not been easy, but as of yesterday it was finally signed into law for the next two years.  This is very, very good news.  I’ll let Don Stokes, the President of the TXMPA – the lobbying group for the Texas film industry – to delve further:

In what was a very challenging legislative session, we emerged with $30 million in funding for the next budget cycle for the Texas Moving Image Incentive Program.  Our funding is included in HB 1, the state budget that was passed by the Texas Legislature on Memorial Day.  An additional $2 million is included in the budget for the Governor’s Trusteed programs for film and music to cover administration and marketing.  This is a tremendous victory since it is an increase of $20 million from the original $10 million dedicated to the program when the budget was filed in January.  At one point during the legislative process the Texas Senate removed all funding for the program.

The Governor called a special session that began May 31st to address several key bills related to funding the budget that died at the end of the regular session.  It is widely expected that other issues may be added to the special session agenda, including congressional redistricting, but the moving image incentive program is not expected to be impacted.

This was a very difficult budget year for the Texas legislature, with school districts and health care programs facing onerous reductions in funding.  TXMPA representatives worked hard to make sure the legislature recognized the significance of the moving image incentive program to the state’s economy.  Key to the success this session was the involvement of TXMPA membership. Members  throughout the state met and contacted their legislators about the personal impact of the program and what it means to film, television, video game, commercial and other production in Texas.  Thank you.  Your efforts paid off.

Our mission doesn’t end with the inclusion of program funding in HB 1.  It takes a year-round effort to make sure the message of the importance of our industry to Texas is heard.  TXMPA will continue to work with the legislature, the Governor’s office, and the Texas Film Commission during the special session and the interim to ensure the ongoing success for the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program and our industry at large.  As TXMPA matures to better handle this task, we need all industry members to stay involved. Please mark July 23rd on your calendars and plan to attend the TXMPA annual meeting that will be held in Houston this year.  Keep an eye out for further announcements on meeting details and on this year’s election of representatives to the board.

Again, thank you for all of your efforts and support that kept our incentive program alive and put us in the position to build it in the future.

Don Stokes
President, TXMPA

New Script Completed

So, this isn’t exactly The Debut related, but I am a screenwriter, and it’s all part of what I do, so I thought it would be worth talking about.

I’ve lost count of the number of scripts I’ve written over the years.  If I were to take a guess, this might be number 25.  Not counting work projects, it might be closer to 18 or 19.  That sounds impressive, though like most writers I wish I could say all those had sold.

Regardless, I find that it’s important over time to do two seemingly conflicting things at once – solidify your process and writing style and at the same time experiment with new processes and writing styles.  Experiment because you have to grow, you have to find new ways of telling stories, you have to go outside your comfort zones.  By doing so, you pull out what works best and institute them into your work flow and improve your writing.

This project was an experiment in radically re-evaluating my workflow.

I followed a template from a well-respected screenwriting course and adapted it to fit my own workflow.  This is much more regimented than I’m used to, but also much more involved in characters than before.  What I found was that I was already doing much of what was in the course organically, I just didn’t have it organized in a way that can be repeated for consistency.  This process helped with that in a big way.

So what’s the screenplay?  It’s a road-trip comedy/drama in the vein of Sideways or Little Miss Sunshine in which a couple, forced into a breakup because one of them must relocate to the opposite coast, create a bucket list for their relationship of all the things they’ve ever wanted to do together and then drive across the country, fulfilling their wishes in a series of crazy misadventures.

Like all of my screenplays, the first draft is WAY too long, and will be slimmed down in rewrites, but it’s always great to write “The End” on a page.

I have a trip planned for LA at the end of July to talk to some producers and the like.  Fingers are crossed…  And then uncrossed so I can work on rewrites.


Images from the upcoming teaser

I spoke yesterday about the teaser and today I thought I’d share some images from the video. The teaser will start by introducing us to the characters and showing what their plans are for the evening – and then how it all falls apart.

Here are some of the characters and their big plans for the night…