Midwest Dog Training Digs North Sioux City for Expansion
May 14, 2018
Nearly three years ago Chris Ford traded his office job for the chance to overcome unruly dogs. His computer has given way to electronic dogs collars, a firm voice and the dedicated spirit of an entrepreneur.
Chris and his wife Jennifer are the dynamic duo behind Midwest Dog Training, a dog obedience business currently located at the Village Square Mall in Dakota Dunes.
In 2005, Ford, a Gateway employee, decided it was time for a career change.
“I saw the writing on the wall. I weaned myself off of Gateway after three months,” Ford explained. “By that time it was just getting to a point where I had too many dogs in my house anyway. So, we got the location in the Dunes in 2006.”
After two years and a few months in the Dunes, this pup of a business has grown in leaps in bounds. By Late September, this Wynstone couple will be breaking ground on N. Derby Lane in North Sioux City, as they build, expand and relocate Midwest Dog Training.
Gone to the Dogs
“It’s definitely something we’re growing or expanding. Instead of just doing the training, we’re going to be doing a lot more,” Ford explained of the new business location.
“We plan to have it built by the time it snows. So, late November it should be done,” Ford explained. He hopes to have the doors open for business before Christmas.
The new 2500 square foot facility will offer 40 kennels for overnight boarding, doggie daycare, grooming and a small retail area, in addition to obedience training on site and at client’s homes.
Doggie guests will be treated to spacious 5 feet x 5 feet indoor kennels with bacteria resistant floors, 3 outdoor dog runs and 1 indoor dog run. The four legged guests will also enjoy the acre and a half grounds, complete with a 6 foot privacy fence, alarm system and video monitoring.
A Proven Style of Training
You won’t find clickers, choke chain collars or bags of bite sized training treats at Midwest Dog Training.
After researching the dog obedience industry by studying and observing trainers from California to Des Moines, Ford has found a method that has worked for thousands of dogs.
“I have taken the best pieces of the best programs and put them all into one,” Ford explained of his techniques.
His current services have been requested by pet owners from Kansas City to Minneapolis and many points in between.
“The company has grown fairly fast, and the popularity of the program has helped with that. Because of the growth of the business, it has allowed us to take this risk, or take on the challenge,” Ford explained.
Ford’s program includes the use of a specific electronic collar. The e-collar emits a vibration that acts like a muscle stimulator to communicate with the dog. Being skeptical, this reporter tested the sensation, and found it to not be a shock collar at all. The vibration from the collar was like a tickle, that made the skin in the palm of my hand mildly itchy.
“We specialize in properly using the e-collar to communicate with your dog,” Ford explained.
He likens the e-collar to an invisible fence or leash, and will allow anyone to feel the e-collar vibration before putting it on their pet.
“Our program includes positive reinforcement along with leash training too, so it’s not all e-collar training, but that is the foundation really, so that’s why our customers are able to get the control their looking for,” Ford explained.
With a dose of patience and an e-collar, Ford trains dogs of all breeds, ages and levels of aggression.
On and off leash control are an important part of his training. Ford feels many dog training programs never go past on leash control. When a pet gets loose from his leash, all the training commands are ignored by the pet. Ford’s techniques and commands are designed to be effective both on and off leash, near strangers and in new indoor and outdoor environments, such as a park.
Two Types of Training
Midwest Dog Training offers two methods of obedience training.
Ford will pick up the pet for boarding and an obedience program, where all the work is done at his facility and home. After 3 weeks, you dog is returned, fully trained.
In home training sessions work with the dog as well as the pet owner. In two sessions, each two hours in length, Ford claims he can make your pet learn eight essential commands; come, sit, down, place, weight, off, quiet and release.
“We show people how to use appropriate motivation and how to give the command,” Ford explained of the program that promotes consistency. “Also, how to use the collar and how to be comfortable with the training.”
And eventually, dogs trained with Midwest Dog Training won’t need to wear the e-collar.
“I show the people how to wean their dog off of the collar, so potentially they don’t have any stimulus other than their voice,” Ford explained.
He even offers unlimited follow-up phone calls and email for the life of the dog he has trained. Dog owners are encouraged to participate in a lucrative referral program, where Ford will pay back your training fee in exchange for 5 successful referrals. The business also offers a discount for multiple pet homes. When two dogs are enrolled in an obedience program at the same time, the second dog’s training fee is at half price.
All Levels of Aggression Accepted
“In almost three years, I’ve trained a thousand dogs. And many of those are vicious dogs, that want to bite people,” Ford mentioned in the wake of a hot controversy over a Pit Bull ban in neighboring Sioux City. “A lot of dogs are confused about what they should be doing. We train dogs not to be vicious.”
Ford contends bully breeds can be trained successfully with his program.
“Leash training doesn’t teach the dog to not be aggressive. The e-collar shows they can’t be aggressive,” Ford explained. “It’s all about setting boundaries for the dog. Obedience training is nothing more than offering stimulus to get a dog to do what you want.”
Ford’s customers have been pleased with his services.
“A lot of times they are overly impressed,” Ford explained of the reactions. “When you have your dog off leash, and you control him off leash, your bond is stronger.”
More to Come
This fall, Ford plans on sending a mailer to Dakota Dunes residents offering a free doggie daycare day pass, so residents can learn more about Midwest Dog Training’s new services.
A small retail section at the North Sioux City business will offer Innova Evo pet foods. Ford considers himself a dog nutritionist who has researched many pet diets. In the future he’d like to add a weight management program to his business offerings. Pet owners could board their pet and have Ford put them on a diet and exercise regime designed for optimum health and weight management.
In the coming year, the business will also begin breeding Belgian Malinois, to be sold primarily to police agencies. Ford will train the dogs to be used in police enforcement.
“By this time next year, we should have a program for bomb sniffing dogs,” Ford said.
But until then, Ford will focus on the newly expanded business opening in North Sioux City, and his growing family. This Fall, the Ford’s will open their new facility and be the proud parents of their first child.
How to Make a Budget
April 30, 2018
Making a budget for the first time can be a little intimidating. I’ve been keeping a budget for about five years now. I’d love to say that I did it right the first time and never had a problem sticking to my budget but, that would be a lie. The fact of the matter is that it took time for me to perfect my budget. Every day I have to work on sticking to it. Times have changed and so has my life and my budgeting needs. I was married with two young children five years ago, and now I’m a single mom with teenagers. My budget is a living organism, constantly changing as my families’ needs change.
The most important part of creating a budget is getting your priorities straight. If you’re looking for information about a budget then you’ve probably run into a few problems in the money management department. That’s OK, it happens to most people. Try to start with the things your household absolutely must allow for: groceries, electricity, water, rent, gas and phone. Hopefully after budgeting for these necessities you can then allow for other necessary expenses. Please, don’t forget about the expenses that only show up once a year or every few months: oil changes, car/life insurance, savings, tithe, car tag and clothing, hair cuts, misc.
You may not consider savings a necessity. But, if you consider all of the things that can and do go wrong, you will see that having some savings is very important. You have to save up for the occasional car break down and medical emergency. These things won’t skip your house just because you have a positive attitude. Savings should be first on your list if possible and try to find some money to give to your local church or charity. Giving back not only makes you feel good, but it’s part of making your budget work. The more you give, the more you get back over time. If you can afford to give, I highly recommend it.
After you’ve budgeted the basic household expenses, it’s time to add your debt and extras. I have a budget for eating out, entertainment, school supplies, cosmetics, spending money and of course gifts. Now that I have teenagers, I’ve learned that I need to budget for things like prom dresses, school clothes, eye glasses, school sports and braces. Sometimes, I have to cut back in some areas to create a budget for another. Recently, for example, I lowered my grocery and gas budget so that I could start a small prom dress budget. Last year I found out how expensive those dresses are. I decided that it would be a lot easier to set aside $10 a month than to dish out $100 and rob my budget to pay for a dress. I’m not as worried about prom expenses this year and it gives me a feeling of relief to know that I prepared for it ahead of time.
Over the past three years I’ve fallen in love with spread sheets, at least as it pertains to budgets. I use an excel spread sheet so I can have a worksheet for each type of budget. I highly recommend having a monthly budget. This serves as a quick reference sheet. I start with my net salary and subtract each bill and try to make sure I’ve spent every penny. It’s not that I want to live week to week, I want to make sure I know where my money is going. Sure, sometimes it’s hard to stick to the budget, but it’s worth it when I need something and already have the money set aside.
Unlike some people, I like to take this budget thing a step further. I also have a weekly budget. Since my paycheck varies from week to week, I have a spreadsheet that lists my net income for each week and subtracts the bills for that week. For example, this week I may make $600 net. I’ll put this at the top of the column and subtract the cost of groceries, gas, rent, utilities, gifts, tithe, cable and spending money. I even have a separate spreadsheet for my debts. I don’t keep them separate from my weekly budget but I’m a little obsessed. I enjoy counting down the days until my debts are paid off. And when I say obsessed, I check my weekly budget several times a day and my debts at least 3 times a week. It doesn’t change that quickly but it helps me keep it at the front of my mind.
Years ago, I would forget to pay my bills on time or write checks when I knew the money wouldn’t be there for a couple of days. I was constantly floating checks and counting on the slow banking system to work in my favor. It didn’t always work, of course. I also had a debit problem. No, that’s not a misspelling. I did mean that I had a debit problem. If you have this problem then you know exactly what I’m talking about. Sometimes, I would forget to record my debits and over spend my budget. I just can’t afford to make those types of mistakes anymore. I never really could afford to make those mistakes.
I’ve read several books on the subject and then took what I learned and adjusted the information to fit my lifestyle and personality. I highly recommend reading Dave Ramsey’s book The Total Money Makeover and any of Larry Burkett’s budgeting books. Also, if you need more help than this, I highly recommend taking a budgeting class. We have several offered at our local churches. You may have some in your area. Crown Financial Ministries offers a class in money management as does, Dave Ramsey.
Keep Your Wallet Healthy
December 25, 2017
Go to the Library
If you haven’t been to your local library lately, you are missing out. Although libraries are a great place to save money on books, card holders can also take advantage of free internet usage, DVDS, and CD’s. You may find that the selection is not always current, but why not try something new. Check out a movie you may not have seen in years or bring home music of a band you haven’t heard of. Perhaps you find something you had no idea you would enjoy, without spending much money. Also look through the events calendar your library offers, many plan great activity nights for children, which keeps the kids entertained without emptying your wallet.
Do Not Post-pone Car Maintenance
Waiting to change the oil in your vehicle or replacing tires can end up costing you much more money in the future. If you feel that this is not in your budget for the month, look for coupons to local car repair shops, you may find that these small repairs can be found for a very reasonable price. If you regularly give your business to the same repairman, ask if he can offer you a discount for your patronage.
This is simple advice that is easy to try. The next time you are at your local grocery store, reach for the generic brand. Not only will you be saving yourself some money, you may find that the product tastes the same. For example, one can usually spend four to five dollars on a box of cereal, while generic brands can be found for three dollars or less.
Save Your Change
Bank of America now offers their Keep the Change service to customers, which simply rounds up the amount of your purchase to the next dollar and places the extra change in a savings account. If you prefer to stay with your current bank, this is something you can do yourself. Simply pay for your purchases with even dollar amounts and set the change aside. Another great element to this tip is that you are using cash instead of a debit or credit card. Research has shown that most people will spend less money than they would if they were using plastic, simply because you can physically see the money you are spending. It makes sense and helps your finances as well.
Cash in on Unused Items
Set aside a day where you can go through your closets and basements and find the items that you no longer need or use. The key here is to be honest with yourself, if you have clothes that still have tags or a gift you haven’t taken out of the package, it must go. Also, there are many options available to give your unwanted possessions a new home. If you think that your stuff is worth some money, put your items on Craigslist or EBay. If you would rather box up what you have found and give it away, find out what the drop off times are for your local Goodwill or Salvation Army.
We all know that going to the movies and other entertainment can become costly, so reinvent your weekend. Schedule a game night with friends and family, you may find that this can be more entertaining than going out. If you want to save money on games, invent your own words to draw for a Pictionary-like game of your own or give charades a try. If games are not your forte, rent a movie instead. Now, with companies such as Red Box and Netflix, watching movies with friends is cheaper than ever. Also, if you have children at home, you are saving money on babysitting costs as well. Perhaps music is your passion, check out your local music scene. You may find that local bars and venues will offer very cheap or free live music nights, and who knows, maybe you will find your next favorite band.
Brown Bags Are In
Bring your own lunch to work. Not only will you find yourself saving money, but eating healthier as well. Additionally, bringing your own lunch to work is a great way to use your leftovers. Also, if you are looking to put some extra money aside to pay off debt or plan a vacation, take the money you would have spent on your meal that day and put it aside. You will be quite surprised how fast that money adds up and much more aware of all the money you spend when you do eat out.
Do Your Own Taxes
I know, it sounds scary, but give it a try. With some many websites offering free e-filing, why not challenge yourself. Look at it this way, not only are you going to save some money, but you will most likely get your tax return cash faster. Try a company such as TurboTax or TaxACT.com.
Be Fashion Savvy
Before shopping at your favorite clothing store, check out your local thrift shops. You may be surprised with how many you will find in your area as the industry seems to be growing. Also, keep the rest of your wardrobe in mind when shopping. Look for clothes that you know you could easily pair with other clothing you have, this eliminates all the items you find in your closet with intact tags.
Kick a Habit
Most people do not realize how costly their habits can actually be, so take a look at something you do often and calculate how much money you spend to keep that indulgence. For example, the average smoker spends approximately $1,000 per year on cigarettes, so look into the options there are to quit smoking and do not be afraid to try a few out. Do you find yourself stopping to at coffee shops a few times a day? Invest in a coffee machine. With so many different coffee makers available now, you may find that buying one would cost just as much as a few lattes. If you spend money often on hair styling, stop a beauty school and find a student that can care for your mane at half the cost. If bottled water is your weakness, buy a water filter attachment for your sink.
Try a few of these helpful tips, or try them all. No matter how you choose to start saving your money, you are well are your way to a more healthy financial future. Good Luck!
Beware of Credit Card Traps when Financing Purchases
December 11, 2017
This is important for just about everyone as we all buy things. Some countries, as I understand it, do not have the same concept of credit cards that Americans do, so I will be writing this from an American perspective. I worked in the credit industry for quite some time and have extensive experience in these matters.
Obviously when you buy something you have to pay for it. If you have the money you can pay for it then and there, or if you don’t you can choose to finance it. Some things are normal to finance. Things such as student loans, cars, and a home are things that just about every person will finance. There are also things that are being financed much more in these times than in the past such as vacations, trendy clothes, video game systems and the like. There is argument that the “we want it now, but pay later culture has another financial shock coming the economy’s way in the credit card meltdown” I have been a credit analyst that approved loans and credit cards and collected them in my career. I do think there is going to be problems with the credit card system one day and greater than the problems we are already seeing.
There are different ways that items can be financed. One of the best ways is 0% interest financing. Here you borrow money and don’t pay any interest. Companies usually do this when they are trying to drum up business. They also have no interest and no payments for a year or longer. This is the banker’s way to make money. How? Easy. Most people will put off and put off paying the payment while it is interest free. By doing this at the end of it you get hit with all that interest. Most companies also compound the interest. All credit cards compound interest.
Compounding interest basically means that the interest you owe
Is calculated at the end of the day with a daily periodic rate (see your credit card statement. It will be really small like less than .01% in some cases. When you borrow money you do not want it to compound, but in savings you do want it to compound. To put it simply you are charged interest on top of interest every single day.
You also can just use a credit card. I realize it has to be done, but can be a bad idea. I personally have several credit cards, but owe a balance on none. This is because I learned the value of “want versus need”. I always ask do I want something or need it. If you want it I make sure I am getting the best price and quality and deal. If I need it I check out the same but you need what you need. If you car needs repairs you cant really skimp on that, but if I need a new video game I can wait until the price goes down or buy one used.
Now when people run a business there will almost always be financing. Not many people can buy everything they need all the time. This is especially true of raw materials or goods to resell. If you sell toys on eBay on a very big scale it is very possible that you may have to run a balance on a card to get your inventory. When you sell it you then pay the card off, hopefully at least. The main thing is to not get caught in a bad situation. It is very easy to do. Always look around if you have good credit someone is always offering a deal in order to get your business.
A final tip deals with automobile financing. Get your own. The car finance manager almost always will charge you more than you can get if you get it prior to the purchase. The reason is they make money off that. Typically you will pay at least .5% higher with good credit than what you would find on your own. If you have “challenged credit” it can be up to 5%. This can add up to several hundred to several thousand dollars over the long runs. In all fairness the dealerships do this because that is how they make money there. Not all do this and often times if you are financing through the companies own finance (BMW finance, Toyota ect ect ect) then you may not pay any spread (the difference between what you can get and what they charge you). Hope these tips help.
There are exceptions of course to this. Not everyone will listen also. I am sure there are grandparents who would not deny a present even if they could not afford it, but that is a choice people make. Sometimes you may finance a wedding. To each their own. When I got married I told the boss (wife) that with the marriage failure rate I was not going in debt for it. We had a great time and I took it all out of savings. I have spoken to people who have had to file bankruptcy after paying thirty thousand dollars for a daughters wedding. I believe in “judge not less ye be judged” but the people I was speaking to had a house and car what was not worth that much adding the value of both together. There is such a thing as living above your means. The bad thing is that they got divorced about a year prior to speaking with me about a mortgage trying to fix the mess they were in.
How to Finance a Start Up Business in Canada
November 27, 2017
Financing a start up business is a huge challenge in the current economy. New entrepreneurs have business ideas and they wish to monetize those ideas into a real business. In the current environment, more than ever, traditional financing is difficult to achieve for a start up.
There are however a number of strategies that the business owner can utilize to either replace or augment traditional financing.
We would point out those traditional financing typically involved banks via new business loans, and, most commonly, the Government Small Business loan, more commonly known as an SBL loan.
Let’s look at some financing options, somewhat non-traditional in nature, to assist the new entrepreneur.
Many customers have not completed their development for their final product or service. Additional capital can be brought into the new business by considering such strategies as customer down payments, use of ‘ try and buy ‘ programs from manufacturers , or simply maintaining a current employment until the product is completed – we would point out that many people entertain ‘ consulting engagements ‘ during this time period .
As the product /service is completed, and is ready to be marketed the entrepreneur could consider such financial strategies such as delayed commissions to sales personnel , utilizing temporary office space, and temporarily subsidizing the business via credit cards . We caution owners not to max out on cards, or default in payments, as this will have a long term effect on the owners overall credit worthiness. For the next several years to come banks and other lenders will be looking for a ‘clean credit scores ‘to augment any business borrowing – so don’t destroy your personal credit rating too early in the game. Fortunately or unfortunately credit cards have become a major source of small business financing – if utilized properly it is certainly an option. Key word: Utilized properly!
Typically as the customer enters the revenue phase of business is an excellent time to start talking to banks about small business loans, as well as the government loans available.
The owner can at this point utilize a number of other strategies to reduce cash outflows and financing needs – these include utilizing or purchasing used equipment in stead of new, or entering to equipment leasing arrangements which typically provide close to 100% financing.
Customers are cautioned at this point in the business to stay totally on top of invoicing (Invoice promptly!); owners should also be establishing trade credit with suppliers, and in instances where possible negotiating higher credit limits and extended terms. Suppliers will consider this for the right future customers!
Business owners are also encouraged to investigate factoring – which is the immediate payment of your receivables by a third party. Solid partners in this area at reasonable rates (typically 2%/mo) can be the life blood of a business for an intermediate amount of time prior to negotiating full fledged bank financing.
In summary, non traditional financing will not finance all of a new start up, but it sure can help. Customers are encouraged to get their operation up and running as quickly as possible, focus on sales and collections, and work towards growth at a reasonable rate. Business owners who exhibit these qualities in their business model will find proper bank financing and other business financing just around the corner.
Five Financial Mistakes Never to Make
November 13, 2017
Whether you’re a prince or a pauper, or somewhere in between, it’s important to know how much of your hard-earned dollars are coming in and going out. Whether you’re new to the work force or have been working for many years, keeping track of your finances is very important, especially as your situation and goals change and mature, like if you want to buy a car or a house, save for educational expenses, and prepare for retirement. Financial planning doesn’t have to be hard or overwhelming if you set up a system that works for you and stick to it. And, by avoiding the following five mistakes, you’ll have a lot more in your wallet now and in the future.
Mistake # 1: Use More Than 2 or 3 Credit Cards
It’s soooo tempting to open a credit card in stores to get the 10 or 20 percent discount they are dangling in front of you, but DON’T DO IT! Before you know it, you will have 10 to 15 credit cards, most likely with balances you can’t pay off each month (see Mistake # 2 below), and this will really harm your credit rating. Most credit cards have annual interest rates of 14% or higher, and the department stores are at 18% or higher. For example, if you buy $1000 worth of stuff in January and only make the minimum payments each month, you will have paid at least $120 to $200 of interest and still owe about $300 by December, and half the stuff you bought will be already old or discarded! You can really raise your credit score by buying only what you can pay in full and on time. In any event, you should keep your outstanding balances below 30 percent of your total credit line per account.
Mistake # 2: Buy Large Ticket Items that You Really Can’t Afford
I know, having the newest iPod or iPhone or iWhatever is cool and fun, but getting into debt isn’t. Try to live below your means. Get in the habit of saving for the big ticket items that you really want. Set up a jar and dump in your change and even your one dollar bills every night. Every time you avoid buying that double vente in the morning or that candy bar after lunch, put that money in the jar instead (both your wallet and your stomach will thank you!) Before you know it, you’ll have that fancy new gadget you want (probably a better model than the one you first saw) and savings and spending habits that will last you a lifetime.
Mistake # 3: Don’t Save for Retirement
Well, it may seem like a long ways off, but with people living longer and Social Security looking weaker, you’re going to need to put a little aside now for your golden years. And just a little will make a big difference, especially the sooner you start. The effects of compounding interest are amazing. For example, if you are 25 years old and you put just $100 aside each month at 7 percent interest per year, you will have $264,012 by the time you are 65; if you start at 35, the same savings will get you just $122,709, but that’s still better than not putting anything aside at all!
Mistake # 4: Don’t Maintain a Filing System for Financial Records
You will lose so much time and money over the years if you don’t keep good financial records. It’s important to be sure that all of your credit card charges are accurate when the bill comes each month as well as your bank accounts, etc. (despite what companies want you to believe, computers do make mistakes!) Plus, so much paper comes at you each day – a system to manage it all will save you time and money. You should separate paperwork as soon as you get it or finish with it. First, once you figure you won’t need a record, shred anything with personal information on it. Then, set aside the bills that need to be paid in their own pile. Try to automate bill payment as much as possible, but not to the point where you’re not paying attention to the amounts of money involved. Once you’re finished with paperwork that needs to be kept, file it away in whatever filing system you set up (usually manila folders get the job done; you might also want to look at David Allen’s book Getting Things Done). There are a lot of different systems out there to consider — experiment and find the one that works for you and then stick to it!
Mistake # 5: Don’t Have an Emergency Fund
These days, you never know what’s going to happen, and unexpected expenses pop up all the time. Setting up an emergency fund for those times when you need to get your hands on a wad of cash is a goal worth setting. You should aim to put aside money that will cover your basic expenses for at least three to six months, such as rent, utilities, commuting expenses, food, etc. Put it in a safe and easy to reach (but not too easy) account that earns interest. That way, if you need the money, it’s there for you; if you don’t, you’ve got another source of savings available that’s growing.
Everyone makes mistakes in life, but with a little planning and determination, you don’t have to make these ones!
How Not to Get Your Film Financed
October 2, 2017
The following is an extract of information exchanged between a film producer/writer/director and his friends who I had contacted not long ago only to discover that regardless of what you read on the internet, regardless of what other people say about you, regardless of how much false information there is out there about you, you can never trust anyone in the film industry and you should figure out how to finance your own projects without relying on others to do it for you!
My responses and corrections to the poor chaps leanings and musings and anticipatory drivel are in brackets next to his words posted at some Indie Producer club that is more akin to a bar full of drunk soul less money hungry mavens of moviedom.
I got an email from a guy who said he likes the art work for “I, Creator” and asked me to give him a bid to make a 90 minute animated movie that could be put on TV. (I thought from his web site that he was producing animations, but that was just the artwork for his trailer).
Dummy me, told him I have two distributors waiting on the live action feature. Animated? I said, like a fool, it looks like he will miss the boat. It’s more like I missed the boat on that opportunity. Damn! (The query about doing animation was simply done out of curiosity rather than a sincere desire to hire this wanna-be film maker).
The offer came from Gaberiel (SIC) Acts. I’ve been trying to find out who he is. He has credits as an actor with the Bravo channel. (Not sure where he got that from, but I have never been an actor appearing on the Bravo Channel.)
It sounds more like he would want me to produce it and he would fund it, if the price is right. (I would fund it if I had the money, but I never said I would fund it, I was merely inquiring about this man’s talents and ability and level of intelligence, and never made any sort of offer, but rather expression of interest out of curiosity – I really do hate the horror flick genre – it is so stupid, really!).
If he has the bucks, I can put together the team. I know very good storyboard artists, animators, and a GREAT sound recording studio for the voice overs. (sic) It would just cost him big bucks. (If I had the bucks, I would not need him to put together my team, my team would already be in place before I got the bucks, but finding intelligent team players is getting harder and harder because not one film producer or director in this country has any money – the money is all owned or controlled by bankers.)
So, maybe I really didn’t blow the deal. Who knows? (How can you blow a deal when there was no deal even started to begin with?)
I’ve worked on animatics (sic) before and have all the right connections for the right price. Such a production would be VERY costly. You’re right James. I’d get the cast of I, CREATOR to do the voice over’s for their characters and make sure they got pro rates for doing it. And, I have a friend who would coach them who records voice over’s for a living. Because doing voice over’s has some differences from straight acting. (All of a sudden this guy is plotting on how to come up with the people to match the delusional funding this guy thinks he might be onto, rather than creating the money for himself first and then getting the talent)
I’d find a way to get the crew some paying work too. (How generous of you!)
I’m getting ahead of myself, (he was way ahead of the bell, even before the horse was hooked up to the cart) but I’d get some people here to help with a big budget animated movie and have all the post work done by THE CUTTING EDGE. They have quite a resume of big budget ads, commercials, and TV productions.
But, I must keep my eyes on the prize and get I, CREATOR on DVD out in the market. And, I will. Even as I type this I’m fixing up more of the movie.
Gabriel Acts is most likely an actor, as his credits indicate, who wants to turn to producing. So, he is green with the producing part of the industry. (Wrong assumption again, while I have acted in plays both on the street and in theatres, and have appeared in numerous indie tv shows and other such nonsense, I am far from being a professional actor and after reading all this guys drivel and exchanges with his friends I must say I am both humored, laughing on the floor, and disgusted all at the same time by the magnitude of ignorance that is rampant in cyberspace).
I just heard back from Gabriel Acts.
He wants to know who my distributors are and how much am I asking for the movie.
You guys should know from past threads my distributors are Round Table Cinema in Japan and BigStar.TV in Florida. (Never heard of them and don’t care, I was just curious if you had anyone really major lined up to distribute your film)
I replied, I’m not looking to sell the movie, just DVDs of the movie to start up a fan base for the characters and story to lay out the seeds for bigger stuff with the characters and story in the future. The distributors I’m dealing with are non-exclusive and I retain all the rights.
He emailed me again and asked how much do I need to produce the sequel. (I didn’t know there was a sequel to a film that hasn’t even been made the first time around)
Let’s see if $2 Million for a cable TV network scares him away. (To a trillionaire that would be like asking for a couple pennies, but to a man as rich as I am, I would not invest in any films, or real estate, or anything but pennies myself, because pennies don’t talk back to you or lie to you like the stock market and financial experts do.)
Money up front, if this guy is for real. That remains to be seen Marius. (Nothing was ever mentioned about money up front, but yes, it takes money to get money, even from crooked bankers).
Yes Marius. I’m waiting to find out. He seems to be interested in a live action version now, since I told him two distributors are waiting to see a live action version. (keyword “seems”)
He asked me for an amount. I told him $2 Million. I’m waiting to see if that scares him away. He is asking for the cost of making another I, CREATOR. I told him $2 Million to build sets, space for the sets, costumes, a skilled DP with their own equipment in the caliber of the Leonetti brothers, a bigger crew, a bigger cast, locations, and post services.
I’m waiting for his reply.
I’m letting you all in on Gabriel Acts, just to see where this whole caper leads. (So seeking funding for a film deal is a caper?)
I just heard back from Gabriel.
He’s considering executive producing a newer version of I, CREATOR. He claims he’s doing due dilagance (sic) on me. So, the saga continues. The $2 Million did not scare him away. (How did a few emails back and forth turn into a saga?)
Thanks Scott. I’ll believe it when I see it. But, if it is real, I sweetened the pot by recommending an experienced line producer. (How this sweetens anything is anyone’s guess.)
I recommended my friend Doug Bruce to line produce the production and he can call Doug as a reference on me if he wants. Doug has line produced, 1ST ADed, and been a production manager for over 20 years now. Doug has line produced two, three, four, and five million dollar productions and made their shooting schedules. (So what?)
If the guy is for real, he’ll recogonize Doug would be a great asset for such a production. (Since when are people not real, he is assuming immediately that I don’t exist).
I was confused as well, Darlene when he asked me to bid. After doing some due diligence, I see that he lives in Budapest, Hungary. So, English is not his native language. He is an actor and a casting director for a company called King Penny Productions. (I don’t live in Budapest right at the moment but I was born there and did live there, but where I live is irrelevant to the issue of getting a film financed).
I asked him point blank, what is his interest in I, CREATOR. His reply is to be an executive producer and possibly provide the financing after he does due diligence. (Sure, I’ve got about ten scripts sitting around collecting dust that people want financing for between $500K and $35 million but not a single one of them has any real A List Talent behind their scripts or production companies, it’s all just more hot air coming out of the script peddlers penniless poopers).
I also did some research. If we were to shoot this budgeted version in Hungry, (sic) we could use both union and non-union people and the US dollar would be worth something like twice as much. (The guy is a script writer but he cannot spell, and he goes off on this wild tangent about Hungary)
I can see selling the budgeted version to Showtime TV. (Is there an unbudgeted version?) It would be right up their alley. We could make something better than a Roger Corman Production. If we can get a DP like John Leonetti who is great with shooting action and Karen Sheperd as the stunt coordinator with her experience with stunts and fight choreography, we would have some of the best low budget action scenes around. That would be quite a dream team. And, I see it as possible. (If this…, if that…, its all pure delusional mind numbing speculation and a waste of everyone’s time and energy, dropping names left and right of people I never heard of and don’t care to waste time researching).
They’re not asking yet. (referring to up front fees) Scam artists don’t always post that on their web site to begin with. (Anyone who asks for an up front fee is considered a scam artist by this guy) I still remember how productiontrax tried to stiff me with a contract NOT posted on their web site with their stock footage. That’s why I’m not using their stuff. I have too much good stuff from gotfootage.com and pond5.com to worry about them. Let’s first see how the due diligence works out. That’s step number one. (He already knows how many steps there are to get his film funded but has he ever funded a finished product before?)
I’m looking out for the people who made I, CREATOR so desirable to begin with. I want them to benefit by getting paid and working alongside some top industry professionals to take I, CREATOR to the next level. (You get what you pay for Dude!)
I found Gabriel’s profile from other sources. It’s best not to trust his web site. Anyone can put anything they want on their own web site. (And anyone, including the government and SEC lawyers can accuse anyone of anything they want to and if you don’t have the money to defend yourself in the Federal Courts or the Courts of Cyberspace, you are permanently labeled a criminal, con man, crook and can never work in Hollywood ever again. The only crime ever committed by anyone is not having enough money to defend oneself against false reports, false accusations and false judgments, and it does no good to try to defend oneself against them, because you will go insane trying to prove your innocence. It is much better to just expose the attacker, the covert liars, the conniving scoundrels who conduct whisper campaigns and innuendos behind your back and put them away forever into the rotten places from where their minds dwell).
I know he’s joking. But, he should also realize I’ll try to get as many talented people I know involved with this is (sic) the money is real. That’s job one … to see if he and the money are for real. (What money, no one ever mentioned anything about having any money, I simply asked him what his budget was and perhaps I might know someone like my adopted Uncle George Soros who bought DreamWorks Film Library for $900 million.)
A $2 Million production to look like a $200 Million without the names will be a big undertaking, but possible. (What flavor of crack is this guy smoking?)
My friend who produces for the cable TV networks told me that HBO and Showtime buy filler movies from time to time from independent producers. That $2 Million investment can be recouped from one sale to Showtime. They invested in Roger Corman’s bad girls of BLACK SCORPION and VAMPERELLA. Something with better production values would certainly sell. Heck, we’ll pay a good sound crew with the budget, if it is for real.
My bad, he’s with Penny King Productions. (I am not with Penny King Productions, I am the creator, inventor, writer and producer of everything Penny King and his Productions.
Here’s his page: Gabriel Acts Page! (The page belongs to Associated Content. The content is produced by writers for the Infinite Freedom Foundation. Infinite Film Finance helps finance films. It’s a division of a division within a division of a battalion of an infinite supply of money but this guy won’t see a penny of it because what he thinks is real money is in fact phony and what he thinks is phony is in fact myopically blinding his brilliance).
But, as I said, it’s better to look for other sources on him. Once again, he found me. I didn’t find him. It’s a matter of using the Internet to post movie trailers and teasers everywhere, so the right people can find you. It’s a lot cheaper than going to film festivals. (This guy is all over IndieProducer.net, schmoozing with every woman actress and potential money pocket he can connect with, he’s actively looking for money for his films and he doesn’t take responsibility for even that much of his own life, so how would he even begin to know who I am and what I am really?)
Here’s a page on Penny King Productions:
Penny King Productions
Mike, it’s just a suspicion, but “Gabriel Acts” doesn’t sound like a real name. It sounds like a name based on a play or screenwriting or something. (Duh, What was your first clue?)
Ok now I just checked the description on that profile. “Gabriel Infinitely Acts” is his full name. (A Pen name that is a trademark and copyright of the Infinite Freedom Foundation).
Well, I hope you get your 2 million and that somebody isn’t just getting your hopes up. (The delusional always get their hopes high on their own without help from pen names).
Ps: James, YOU’re not “Gabriel Infinitely Acts” are you? Kinda like playing a joke thing on mike? Sorry to suspise (sic) you but it’s the only thing that makes sense for the way things are presented here with the guy just showing up out of thin air and offering someone he doesn’t know 2 million to make a movie. (I didn’t know humans could perform the same way as money -showing up out of thin air – is the thick air where the film maker wannabes and their lawyers who take up front fees all the time called “retainers” come from?)
It wreaks (sic)of deceit. But I hope for mike’s sake it’s not. (Lawyers on message boards who cannot spell, they should have their secretaries do their postings for them).
It appears that this so called executive producer wants to give our South Afrian friend a run for the money with aliases. Although, Marius is a good guy. (I never said I was an executive producer, I said I was interested in becoming an executive producer which is totally different. Had he asked about how I could become one he would have learned and perhaps gotten past the gates of the barbarians who run the banking system in this country).
I don’t think the same can be said for Garbor (sic) S. Acs. Garbor (sic) seems to be involved with lawsuits and people after him. (No one is after me, if anything I am after anyone who is ignorant, just to educate and enlighten them into the truth, but most people cannot handle the truth because they cannot find themselves and are looking for the truth in everything and everyone else. I am still whatever they perceive me to be after all is read and done).
Gabriel Infintiy (sic) Acts is a.k.a. Garbor S. Acs a.k.a. Penny King Holdings and several other names. ( I have infinite pen names and you will never know me until you “Know Thyself”).
This doesn’t sound good: Garbor (SIC) S. Acs and the US Securities and Exchange Commission
Penny King Stock Patrol Report
Penny Stock Fraud Info
This is why it pays to do due diligence. I had to first discover what this guy’s real name is: Garbor S. Acs (that is not my real name and never was) and his company is Penny Knig Holdings (Not, wrong again! Gong! Next!) and a google search turned up the above links. (Trust in Google, it will always pull up the wrong crap on the wrong people and soon enough the world will be engulfed in gaga googlers suing each other over spreading rumors and lies and false information).
Well, something else may be developing from my day job. I met a friend of a friend whose brother-in-law invented Internet banking (Is his name Al Gore?) and made so much money from it, he’s investing some of it in film productions. (Sure! Name one!) He asked for my web site to show my stuff to his brother-in-law over the Thanksgiving holidays.
So, there’s a chance at something. (There’s always a chance that you missed your chance and you should just stick to your day job and don’t try to fool genius ever again).
And, I heard back from the Penny King. He claims the charges are false and he is being harassed. In the mind of a con, the world is against them for “working outside the box.” (From one report, from one false and misleading report, all judgments are pronounced by the wise Mikey the flim flam filmmaker who comes seeking pennies from a King yet knows not how to turn his own pennies into dollars with sound investments).
I have copies at work of the SEC reports and judgments and they look pretty real to me. (So do your delusions, but does that make them true to fact, true to life and true to experience. No man can know another man’s truth unless they walk in their shows, shews, shoes, or whatever their wearing for skin, for more than a thousand miles.)
I hear you, Darlene. After seeing copies of SEC documentation and court judgments on him, he’s bad news. He tried to steer me to read an article on one of his web sites he most likely wrote himself under another alias. (I don’t have any web sites and if he had checked All Who Is he would have had more intelligence than to make that assumption, but he is just like millions of other Ameri-“can’ts” and Ameri-cons, they cannot see past what the “authorities” have said about a man to look deep into the heart and soul to determine the true due diligence. I mean really, does anyone really honestly believe anything written by anyone who works for the government publishes anymore?).
In the latest World According to Gabriel, he says the SEC and courts beat him by default. I wonder why … a no show would do it. (Yes, if you file ten thousand pages protesting the false accusations in a federal court case and the petitioner moves for a summary judgment and you do not respond within the time frame of the rules which you have to learn as you go as you try to defend yourself against the abusive lying scoundrel government agents because you have been permanently damaged, emotionally, mentally and physically through a continuous dwindling spiral from the onslaught of legal harassment, the courts have no compassion for people who say I’m not showing up to play your stupid mind games any more…boom – guilty for failing to appear!)
Now if a lawsuit were filed against this man, and he ran out of money to pay lawyers and legal fees, then surely he too would begin to know the truth of how it all works, but what do I know, I was just asking a few questions and look what happened!
Three thousand more words upon words upon words that result in nothingness! No film. No budget! No real entertainment. Just more boring drivel!
But don’t tell this guy that Infinite Film Finance is open for business!
Kiss Your Assets Goodbye!
May 25, 2017
The controversy over Napster and other free music sharing systems is rocking the web. If your company deals with any sort of digital information, such as music, video, or data, you should follow this conflict closely, because how it is resolved may dramatically affect the future of your business. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is suing Napster, a site that allows users to freely share music files, claiming that Napster infringes on the rights of the recording industry. It has enlisted heavy metal rocker Lars Ulrich, country music sweethearts The Dixie Chicks, and rap CEO Sean “Puffy” Combs as spokespeople.
Meanwhile, more than 20 million Internet users are actively involved in sharing free mp3 music files. Getting free music over the Internet is seen by many as just a high-tech version of getting music over the radio. The conflict is rapidly coming to a head. The U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel has issued an injunction against Napster, calling the site “a monster”. The injunction may effectively shut the site down. Another free music site, CuteMX, has shut its service down pending the results of this lawsuit. Hank Barry, the CEO of Napster, vows to fight this all the way to the Supreme Court.
This case could prove to be a pivotal case in the struggle between the creators of new Internet technologies and copyright owners. The decision in this case could affect 20 million Napster users. Because the conflict is a struggle between the traditional rights of copyright owners and the latest Internet technologies, the effects of this ruling could affect all Internet users.
Free File Sharing is the New Reality
It would be hard to make an effective argument that Napster doesn’t violate the traditional rights of copyright owners. What Napster has done is become the Yahoo of bootlegging. The judge in this case is right, Napster is a business based on helping people bootleg music.
But the point is moot. There is no way to stop the sharing of mp3’s because there are so many new file sharing technologies and so many people actively using them. The RIAA can win the battle but not the war.
The RIAA is doing the only thing it can do, if it wants to fight against this. Like Microsoft in its anti-trust case, the RIAA is using the legal system to delay the inevitable so that it can figure out better ways of retaining control of its
business. To be successful in the long run, though, the RIAA members must figure out how to use the Internet to their advantage.
Fighting Won’t Work
There is only one way for the music industry to deal with this situation: The RIAA must learn how to sail against the wind. The traditional music industry can only survive this conflict by learning how to harness the power of these new Internet technologies and the people using them.
The RIAA members must adapt their ways to the reality of the interchange of information over the Internet.
- They can do this by using the Internet as a high-speed, low-cost method of generating interest in their product. (ie., The Blair Witch Project)
- The music companies can tap into the increased distribution and attention the Internet creates by making more interesting physical products, such as cd’s with more exciting design, packaging, lyric sheets, and photos.
- The music industry can translate the success of a free product into a desire for collectible commercial items by making each cd part of a set, or by creating limited editions in a variety of formats. (ie. Pokemon, Beanie Babies)
- RIAA members can create tools, software and media for distributing free music and playing it. This could include mp3 software, mp3 players, and digital music hardware.
The music industry is going to find that, even though they are technically right in their fight to shut down Napster, their success depends on turning this revolution into their own cause.
This Conflict Affects Everyone
The free music revolution is the beginning of the conflicts that Internet technologies will create over copyright ownership. The same types of technologies that are allowing the free exchange of music over the Internet can be used to allow movies, software and ultimately any type of digital information to be copied. This trend is irreversible, massive, and any company that deals with copyrighted information will have to deal with it.
How to Start Your Own Business: Basic steps for starting any business
May 7, 2017
Many people want the freedom and financial independence of starting a business of their own. They view it as having to work less, get paid more, and hope that it will give them the flexibility to run their lives as they want. But be careful! While these are all possibilities, there are also drawbacks to running your own business, such as the increased responsibilities, the financial worries and risk, and possibly working longer hours and harder than ever before. Here’s where to start when you want to build your own business.
Do your market research. Make sure you have an audience for your product or service, whatever it is, before you invest any money or too much time in a business. If you have a great product, but nobody knows what it is or wants it, then you are sunk. Or you are in for a long, hard struggle before you make any money. Look in the yellow pages to see how many similar businesses there are. Your Chamber of Commerce can also give you advice on how to do this research, as well as other contacts you could use. Or you may consult an expert, or even search the web for articles on market research. I’m sure you’ll find many.
Licensing and Regulations
Check with your local regulating agency as to what is required for your business. Some businesses are regulated, particularly if there are any imports or if you are professionally regulated. Government websites should be able to tell you anything you need to know about the required licensing, including business licenses required. You should also be able to find out information on any import programs or government grants available for new businesses.
Every business requires some up front financing, regardless of its size. You should make sure that you’ve done a full business plan, so that you understand what financing you will require. Most people will start their first business with some of their own savings, and possibly some “love money” from friends or relatives. Make sure that you have the required funding before you go out and start. And stick to the plan! Don’t move too fast or too hard, or you may find yourself unable to meet the financial demands of the business. And that can sink you as quick as anything else.
Don’t try to invent a new wheel. There are many business models available to follow. Use one of them! Whether it’s a retail store, internet shop, or mail order, or even a straight up clinic or professional office, use a model that already works, and you will be ahead of the game from the start. Talk to other people in the industry, and they may be willing to give you advice. It doesn’t hurt to ask, and the worst they can do is say, “No.”