Island Time to Chasing the Sun

Well hello Tropical World! It’s been years since I’ve updated this blog. A lot has changed in this little tropical adventure.

Years ago I set up to direct a big fun tropical feature film called “Island Time.” The logline was: 

After discovering that his struggling musician friend has used his funds to buy a dilapidated beach bar in the Florida Keys, an uptight workaholic finds his only course of action is go to Florida and try turn the bar into a successful venture or risk losing everything to – the “Sandals” like resort on a neighboring beach.  

It was big, broad and a lot of fun. Something perfect for a Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson type comedy. It celebrates the music and lifestyle of Jimmy Buffett. I worked on raising the money for the film and took a lot of meetings. We held readings throughout LA. And we got a lot of bites from investors who wanted to invest much more than I originally intended. And in truth a movie like that – filmed all over the Caribbean – was not something one could do on a small budget.

Along the way I discovered a fantastic genre of artists who sing in the style of Jimmy Buffett. They sing about tropical escapes, following your dreams, ditching your current life and finding adventures somewhere warm. This is called Trop Rock. It’s filled with amazing indie artists.

What is Trop Rock? Well the official definition is: ‘Tropical Rock (Or Trop Rock) Is A Genre Of Popular Music That Incorporates Elements Of Rock And Roll, Country, Caribbean, Reggae Or Other Musical Genres To Create A Laid-Back Or Escapist State Of Mind.” But it’s really so much more.

It’s a way of life.

In addition to the artists, there are independent radio DJs, all of whom work tirelessly to promote the music. And every year, the artists and the fans all go down to Key West for “Meeting of the Minds” to celebrate the music and lifestyle. There are the Trop Rock music awards which are awarded to the artists, the fans, the house concert venues, and even the radio DJ’s.

Realizing that my “Island Time” film was going to be taking much longer to make than possible, I set out to do a short film. One that took place in the world of “Island Time” but that could be done on a lower budget. I didn’t want to wait around any longer. Artists and fan alike were wondering, “What’s going on? Where’s the film?” And so I set out to shoot a small project which celebrates the music.

That small short became, over time, the feature film “Chasing the Sun” which I am close to releasing. The original film has a “Greek Chorus” of a tropical Radio DJ. I wanted to tell this guy’s story. How did he get to Key West? And that story became much more of a celebration of the music than “Island Time” could ever be. Because he was a radio DJ I could weave in the actual artists into the story in a much more organic way. The music itself could tell the story.

“Chasing the Sun” is the story of a small Tropical Radio DJ who is up for an award in Key West. With the encouragement of his wild cousin, he lies to his fiancee to attend the awards and follow his dream, along the way meeting many of his tropical songwriting idols, who inspire him as he comes to a crossroad in his life.

I’m super proud of the movie. In many ways it’s a far more heartfelt, character based, and down to earth movie than “Island Time” was. It’s a movie that is like a Trop Rock album or Buffett album: that is to say there are tracks that are drunken and fun, tracks that are goofy, tracks that are wistful and others tracks that are hopefully inspirational.

The very meta result of it all is that we’re premiering the film during “Meeting of the Minds” the week of the “Trop Rock Music Awards.”

It’s a real treat to finally be here and so close to releasing the film.

It is my hope and goal for this small project, “Chasing the Sun” to serve as the wind to push the project of “Island Time” into fruition. “Chasing the Sun” will be a test case to explore the viability of a “Trop Rock movie” and help us raise the final additional money we need to make the bigger film a reality. To show the world that there can be many tropical cinematic stories.  In regards to those of you who have donated and have perks such as a role in the movie, T-shirts, or other items, we will reach out to you when we are in production for that film.

Thank you to everyone for your encouragement and support along the way.

Fins up!