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!


Our Key West Adventure

Our Key West Adventure


Filming Jimmy Parrish’s show at “Willy T’s” in Key West.

This film we’re making is all about people following their dreams & passions. And thanks to you, this first week of fundraising the campaign has been a big success. We attended the “Meeting of the Minds” annual Parrothead bash down in Key West. Words cannot describe what you get when you mix 3,500 Parrotheads on an island a little over seven square miles. Suffice to say, Hemingway would be proud.

While we were in marketing mode most of the time, we did get a chance to see some amazing Trop Rock artists. We kicked it all off with the Crab Island Mambo Welcome Party. This was a blast and a perfect way to start the week. We attended Kelly McGuire’s Songwriters Showcase at the Lighthouse court. It was an intimate gathering of music enthusiasts who gathered to listen to musicians sing their songs and just as important, tell the stories of their songs. In some ways listening to these songs are dangerous, as they just might make you want to leave it all and escape south!

We visited “Island Dogs” bar seeing a lot of great acts as well. All of these were sponsored by “Songwriter’s Island Radio.” They’ve been a big help in promoting the film. And they won a Best Trop Rock Radio station award!

I had a chance to film the shows of some fantastic musicians, including Jim Morris, John Patti, Jimmy Parrish, and Jimi Pappas. While it was a lot of work running around with two cameras and a heavy shoulder mount for these four – five hour shows in the Florida heat, it counts as some of the most fun nights of the year. Being up close and on stage filming these great tropical performances – there are worse ways to spend an evening.



Shooting the Jim Morris show outside at Hog’s Breath in Key West.



Shooting Jim Morris by the beach. Yes, those are pink fish shorts I’m wearing.

Some of the shows I shot right near the beach, with the ocean breeze blowing. I also had chance to get up in front of the crowd and talk about “Island Time” – the story of the film, our fundraising goals, and my own love of this music.

In between the music and fun we had a chance to chat with many people inspired by the music of Trop Rock and Jimmy Buffett. People who have actually sailed away, who have followed their dreams and live in Key West or South of St. Somewhere.

I love talking with people about this since that’s the theme of “Island Time.” About some friends who leave it all to start a beach bar in the islands.

I’ve been gearing up for this project for well over a year now, and returning from this trip has gotten me even more excited about it. I’m overwhelmed by the positive response and enthusiasm from everyone we met – and excited to shoot the film as we move closer to our goals.

THANK YOU to everyone who has helped make our first big campaign push such a big success. Thank you for donating, thank you for sharing, and most of all thank you for your enthusiasm in bringing this tropical story to life.

Thanks for your support! 



Buffett – Live in Anguilla

I’ve been fortunate to see Jimmy Buffett live a number of times, in big venues and small.

Most recently, I saw him in Boston at a Charity Event in a small club. That was an amazing show.

Still, I think nothing would beat seeing Buffett live on the beach. I’ve always been a fan of his “Live in Anguilla” album. Seeing video from the show, I just think that no concert could beat that concert.

Besides Jimmy playing for you on your own tropical island, what would be your ideal Buffett concert?